Current research on blogs

Having explored a little about what blogs are, the kinds of blogs people can write, the sorts of things that are in blog posts, what it is like to create a blog, deciding what to put in a blog post, and so on … you should now consider what potential there is for blogs to be used in language learning. There are several ways in which you can review your own understanding of issues related to using blogs. You already have a wealth of knowledge about Language Teaching and/or TESOL features; you studied these in the core courses on the programme. You should review these in relation to using blogs. Try to be systematic about this, and as you make notes use the appropriate terminology and refer to theories and writers. Here are some suggestions:

  • one of the most common paradigms is the “language as skills”: in what ways could blogs contribute to the development of the skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening)?
  • review common teaching methodologies: what would blogs offer for communicative language teaching?
  • consider features you know from SLA (second language acquisition) theories: for example, how would blogs help learners develop communication strategies?
  • would blogs offer potential for learner differences: what kinds of motivation could blogs stimulate; what learning styles could be accommodated?

Read the following article:

Murray, L and Hourigan, T (2008) Blogs for specific purposes: Expressivist or socio-cognitivist approach? ReCALL 20(1): 82-97.

(note: this journal is available via the university library online; to be able to open the full article you must be logged in to your MyEd account. The citation here has been created as a hyperlink to the article but if you are not logged in to MyEd you will not be able to open other articles from this journal. To access further articles in this journal you should go to your MyEd page and find the library tab; then search for the journal by name)

  • Note your own ideas about blogs and language learning
  • Read the suggested article and review your notes
  • Discuss your understanding of blogs by sending a message to the discussions

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