Thursday, June 02, 2005

Appropriated Words [sic]

Here are some excerpts from my students' blogs summing up their reactions to the blogexperience. Some of the English is pretty atrocious, so please be indulgent. Phil B. asked about error correction in the Blogstreams Salon last week and I have to admit that, for me, this is a thorny problem. I simply don't have time to correct written productions every week and I'm not at all sure that student posts would be as spontaneous and authentic if they felt they were writing for correction rather than reaction. I'm going to have to think more about this before next academic year.

Shablog: "First, the blogs were on original way to make us reflex. Indeed, it was an exellent exercise since we had to write a sensefull text with built sentences and with the appropriated words. We could work to exprime ourselves in a quiet good english in order to make us understand by the others. Moreover, the blogs were a bright alternative to make us 'speak' when we weren't in class."

madikera: "Moreover, the blog is a very good idea in my view because it has permitted us to know things about the others but it was very difficult to talk about myself."

Suck the marrow out of life: "I found the idea of the blog excellent. We should start it at the beginning of the year to be used to going there. It was really convenient to go on the computer to do your homework (grammar exercises or litlle essay)"

moonlight: ".and it is probably very interesting because each one talked about what happens to him, what he thinks so he could compare his opinion, his experiences...with the others' ones."

My english: " The blogs are a very good idea as homeworks, it's an original work to learn english but, for me, it wasn't "work" so it's a way to progress easily in english and in the same time to enjoy what we do."

Stories: "Other thing,the idea of doing a blog is very good:if I can,I think I would keep mine because it's like a kind of diary!And I like this very much!"

the chicken blog: "I enjoyed the blogs because it was a way to practice english without being too much conscious of it...(hey ! am I writing in english ? no, I can't believe it !)"

tiziozio: "About the blogs: first, I was a little pessimistic. the fact to write things about you that 'everybody' could be able to read didn't pleased me a lot... But when you accept this principle and play the game, you become 'hoocked'!!"

britneyfornever: "Overall, now I know what a blog is and what a blog could be; because when the teacher said ' you're going to create a blog'...I thought : a WHAT!!...I've never heard about this before!!But now, if somebody talk about blog I could say 'oh, yes...I know what it is and I've even created one!...'It's sure that at first I wasn't very, very enthusiastic because I don't really like talking about me and expose this on the web...even if it's about small personal things but I 've to admited that , lessons after lessons, I was more and more interested and at last I found that very funny to learn some details on people, like the five original things that people has done.The proust questions make me discover details on people life and It's always interesting to see how people react towards some questions or situations.To end, I think it was a good way to learn and 'play' with English and a good idea for people who have difficulties with oral...because it's easier to talk throw a computer!!..."

english option: "But nothing is perfect. What I really disliked was : - the day chosen in the week : many persons are off duty on Wednesday afternoon- the constant use of computers. I must admit that new technologies offer a lot of possibilities for the exercises. But everyone doesn't have an easy access to a computer and even less persons to the Internet ( when it works )."


Sarolta said...

Thanks for sharing your students' comments, Lesley. And I agree that correcting students' posts is a problem. I too will have to give it a serious thought before autumn.

Deborah (ex English teacher) said...

Re: the thorny problem of correction

The trouble with correction is that you have a choice: either you correct the mistaken words and grammar or you point out that the sentence is not at all the way we would say it in English anyway and change the whole thing. This is VERY exhausting and one can spend a long time over it.
After taking time and trouble the student is happy but in no way remembers to correct him/herself the next time round and 'bam' makes the mistake again. (I know this from experience and also my own efforts at learning Spanish).
A less time consuming and more helpful wheeze could be for the teacher to pick out one (or two) things in each effort. For example in Shablog's paragraph which is opposite this I would pick out the word 'reflex' and 'exprime' and say don't forget the words 'think' and 'express' next time. One can see he/she has a good grasp of the way the language works (senseful) why a double l Shablog? and the word is a beautifullllll invention.
Much better to write 'exprime' and 'sensefull' and get writing than to spend too long with a dictionary and much better for the teacher to jot down a couple of words than spend hours 'correcting'
However (or moreover as madikera would say) we love some of the fascinating mistakes which are often amusing.
Someone clever could write a programme(?)(is that right?) which would make a noise come out of the computer everytime the students made the same mistake second time round (please excuse tautology)
Cheers (after several glasses of wine)

Lesley said...

You're right Deborah about the futility of most correction. Maybe next year I will explain from the outset that I'm not going to spend a lot of time correcting and that the quality of their English is their responsibility.