How important is blogging in the ESL learning world?

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Blogging is a very powerful tool in and of itself. Whether it’s a personal or professional blog, blogging has the power to unleash learning, reflection, and communication. Even more, a blog can help spread your words and ideas to a wider audience and to a wider reach.

Blogging for ESL learners can initiate into students’ and teachers’ utmost communicative potential and help expand and widen learning opportunities.

Benefits of Blogging
Teachers alike, the students ought to be encouraged in planning on incorporating blogging in the process of learning the language. It’s important for the teacher to discuss the benefit of blogging with the students, as this will inform how they learn through it. When students understand the benefits of the process, they become engaged and active in their own learning. Teachers should explain how blogging can:
• Provide an opportunity for reflection by students
• Open up student writing to a wider audience
• Provide an opportunity to practice writing and communication skills
• Empower student expression
• Motivate and engage students in higher-level communicative learning

Not forgetting the intent of blogging, a student blog can have many purposes:
• Discussions
• Responses
• Reflections
• Sharing images, audio-videos, web-links etc.
• Paragraph writing
• Storytelling.

The question is, what should an ESL learner include in his/her blog?
The following suggestions are only a pinch out of the endless possibilities and I’d like to leave room for creativity to take over. Some of the content suggestions are:
• Information about class, assignments, daily routine, tasks, etc.
• Discussion and comments forum
• Class photos and videos
• Photos and videos of resources related to classwork
• Interesting articles and stories etc.

The possibilities are endless, but the key is personalizing to meet the students’ communicative and learning needs.

Keny Singha

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