Using Blogs in ESL/EFL Teaching and Teacher-Training
Keywords: blogs, TESOL teacher training, EAP reading, EAP listening, ESL/EFL writing, CALL, Web 2.0, observation, lesson plans.
Moraine Valley Community College, USA
Wendy L. Bowcher
Sun Yat-sen University, China
Patricia Galien is an assistant professor presently teaching in the Intensive English Language Program of Moraine Valley Community College in the U.S. She has taught undergraduate students at several institutions of higher education including International Christian University in Japan and the University of Washington and Shoreline Community College in the U.S. She has also taught graduate students for Columbia University Teachers College M.A. program in Tokyo and summer session graduate students at the University of Michigan. Her focus is the teaching of academic writing and the innovative use of CALL. Her blog can be found at http://pjgalien.wordpress.com
Wendy L. Bowcher is a professor and director of the applied linguistics program at Sun Yat-sen University, China. She has worked as a consultant forensic linguist in Australia, and for several years as Associate Professor of Linguistics at Tokyo Gakugei University, Japan. She has taught English and History in secondary schools, worked as a multicultural education consultant, and taught linguistics and applied linguistics at both undergraduate and graduate level. She received her PhD in linguistics from the University of Liverpool, England. Her interests include language in legal situations, discourse analysis, teacher training, and EAP.
The use of the internet as a resource in language education is rapidly expanding, and Web 2.0 has opened up exciting avenues for developing collaborative communication skills in a foreign or second language. One of these avenues is the ‘blog’. This article presents a case study of the use of blogs in a writing course in an IELP, as well as some innovative uses of blogs in the EFL/ESL classroom. It also outlines the use of blogs as a resource in TESOL teacher training. The authors argue that the introduction of any new media or technology needs to be weighed against its pedagogical value, and that blogs can add a relevant and rich learning platform for today’s learners.