may not actually increase the students’ willingness to write or try
new forms or vocabulary. While I absolutely love the idea of having a
native speaker correct the journal entries, the harsh penalty of one
point off for every mistake does seem to hinder students from trying
new ways of writing. I wonder if there is a balance that could be
struck between keeping students accountable for accuracy while still
encouraging them to write in different and more complex ways.
> What is a blog? Does it have to be online? Is it a collaborative effort
> or a personal effort? The use of journals is pervasive in Japan
> for teaching writing. Usually the student must write a page every
> day. The page is handed in and corrected by a native speaker.
> Usually the interaction is one way (student to marker) although
> occasionally the marker is encouraged to write comments or
> answer questions that the journal writer asks.
> Although not a blog per se (not on line), personally I don’t see
> any difference between writing something on line and writing it
> on a piece of paper. The main potential difference is that
> a blog is usually (but not always) public. The journals that the
> students write here are private.
>> -Do you or how do you assess contributions to a classroom blog?
> These are all individual efforts. What usually happens is that
> the student starts with 10 points. One point is deducted for
> every mistake they make (spelling or grammar). No points
> are awarded for content. I really, really, really hate this system
> but it is the most common one used.
>> -What benefits are there in using a blog? What detriments?
> Again, it really depends on how something is implemented.
> In the case of writing journals, the students are expected
> to try new ideas and be corrected by a native speaker. This
> would be fantastic practice, I think. Especially if the
> marker writes comments back you can get a really good
> sense of using the language as a language rather than just
> a puzzle. As implemented, the students are often too scared
> to make a mistake to write anything challenging (and hence
> learn something they didn’t already know).