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Writing Skills - Encouraging ESOL/English Learners to Blog
☆҉‿ ESOL means - English for Speakers of Other Languages and is a very popular Course in all UK Colleges. There is a huge demand for this course from EU citizens who come to study in England or get jobs and some are also from Brazil, Portugal, Africa. Though I teach the use of Computer Software, I got drawn into ESOL 11 years ago and enjoy teaching it part-time.
Why should ESOL Learners Blog?
People blog for different reasons. Some as a hobby, some to earn online. I think it would be a good idea for ESOL learners to Blog for the following reasons:
a) It will make learners more confident in writing, particularly if they get lots of “likes” or written feedback on their articles.
b) It will promote creativity – Poems are an example. They get the creative juices flowing.
c) Some learners might develop a passion for it and take it further, by publishing online or maybe publishing a book. For many Authors, English is not actually their first language.
How can Teachers Support?
1) Time may be tight, but it’s possible to fit in an hour Tutorial a week, to help them get started. E.g registering on blogs. Showing them how to include photo’s, edit writing, respond to comments and help with questions they have.
2) Subscribe to their blogs and give feedback after reading articles. (Personally, if their writing is very bad, I would not include it in comments, but maybe drop them an email or talk to them, to brush up on certain areas. If we over criticise or correct, it can affect their moral and they might not want to continue).
3) Help them share it, so they get more readers. Example on wordpress, if you click on “reblog” it will re-send it to all your followers. Alternatively, share on Facebook / Twitter.
Maybe, every month you could announce or get learners to vote for the best article and give a box of chocolates or something to the winner.
Some ideas for topics to write about:
- Funny stories.
- Interesting places to visit.
- Fashion and beauty.
- Celebrities / Music / Review Movies.
- Religious issues.
- Health issues.
- Reaction to a News story.
The list is endless.
Support For ESOL Learners
I have been publishing online for over 4 years and recommend Wordpress.com or blogger.com. One of my blogs is called: Inspiring Talk’s Blog and it’s with wordpress.com. You can click on the link to have an idea of the layout. It's all pink and flowery, but don’t worry there are many other designs to choose from.
☆҉‿Also, your articles don't have to be long. All my articles on wordpress are very short.
I hope blogging boosts your confidence and helps you build on your writing skills. You never know where it will lead…..
Feel free to post me any questions or more suggestions to help ESOL learners. Thank you.