April 20, 2013

TEACHMEET Int'l : Even Beginners Can Write

If you've attended the TEACHMEET International 2013, this post is dedicated to talk a little bit more about the project presented this morning.

Many beginner students of English tend to learn isolated words and sentences and that's all they seem to use for the first years studying English. These students have very little opportunities for expressing themselves a bit more using the target language.

This semester, I'm teaching a group of beginners which have studied English for 5 months only (classes are twice a week). I asked them what sort of writing they did last semester and I was told most of what they wrote was in their workbooks and the few times they wrote short texts the only person who read it was their teacher.

Well, aiming to provide opportunity for this groups of students to develop their writing skills in English to express themselves I proposed the following project using the EDMODO platform.

Each week, I would share a bit more about myself by writing a short text using language learned that week. Students then would try to do the same over the weekend. But this time, they would be writing about themselves, we would be reading everyone's text and would be able to learn from each other. I mentioned to them, my objective was to give them further reading and writing practice , to learn more about them and to see from their language use where they needed further help.

This is how we started:

Then, it was my students' turn to write their own texts.

I tried to respond to the content of the text and not use the replies for correction purposes. This way, I intend to make students feel more confident in using English to talk about themselves.

After reading several texts written by the students, I took notes of the most COMMON MISTAKES and in the following class, without identifying who had made the mistake, I tried to elicit from them how to make the sentence grammatically correct. 

A big challenge I've been having is to get students to keep the conversation going, like I did with Talita, in the example above. They say they don't have enough time to go back and do more reading. Let's see how it goes.


These were the slides used to present.

The LIVEBINDER with resources

Resources TeachMeet 2013


Rose Bard said...

Hi Ana Maria, thanks so much for sharing your presentation here. I totally agree that students have a lot to say and to contribute to their own learning, and giving them the opportunity to do so is important nowadays. By using a digital plataform we also collect material which I find pretty useful as to identify what to work on in class. I'm new to the use of digital tools to enhance learning - I've being using online plataforms since last semester, but without any doubt I can see the benefits of them both for learners and for teachers because of the pedagogical implications. And one of them being the way it changes how we see our students- from passive to active role, from devoid of knowledge/skills to active skills/knowledge builders.

Thanks again! Your blog is great. :)

Ana Maria Menezes said...

Txs for the comment, Rose. Yes, I feel that learning more about my students has made all the difference in observing what kind of help they need.

Unknown said...

Hi Ana Maria, what I like best about edmodo is its possibility of going beyond the classroom. I must admit that there are groups which do not use this tool as I wish, but most of my groups are aware that edmodo is the easiest way to keep in touch with me or other members of their own group. Congrats for the project!

Unknown said...
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