Sunday, 28 October 2012

My Reflections on Week 4 - Web Skills

Hi Courtney and other colleagues,

Greetings.

I am really elated to reflect on the practices I had during the week 4 of Web Skills course.  In this week, I had understood the effective methods to develop reading, writing and vocabulary skills through several articles and websites.

Firstly, I read the article of Liang's extensive reading activities for EFL/ESL students using e-books which highlighted the three major activities such as Choosing the books, Reading and sharing the books and Evaluating the books. The prime focus of this activity is, it enhances the skills of the learners that how they can select the right book for reading using study guides and their preferences through ranking. After that, they have to share their preferred books with others, write summaries about those books and  share with their fellow colleagues.  In order to make it more effective, they can use the story mapping chart and describe the different attributes and personnel involved.  Finally they have to evaluate the books using higher order thinking skills like synthesizing and evaluating (using Bloom's taxonomy and Gardener's multiple intelligence theory' using the criteria  on its originality of insight, application of criteria, clarity of summary and strength of argument and the use of language.This typical activity which makes the learners understand the process of identifying appropriate books for enhancing their reading and writing skills outside the classroom.

Secondly, I read the article of Krajka's 'Using the Internet in ESL Writing Instruction'.  She has implemented web pages, e-mail connection and creating class websites as an important web tools for disseminating the knowledge of the teacher to the students.  Further, she highlighted the basic issues for implementing the online curriculum into the classroom, such as, 1.The benefits of on-line instruction 2. How this on-line component could be incorporated into the curriculum 3.The role of the teacher in a wired classroom 4.The resources needed for conducting on-line lessons 5.The syllabus of a course including the on-line elements.  This has brought me a great awareness when I am planning to use any of the web tools stated above in the classroom.  

Thirdly, I had explored several web sites such as 'breakingnewsenglish.com, halfbackedsoftware.com, 50states.com, manythings.org, a4esl.org, and  fog.ccsf.edu' which brought many insights on the different use of vocabulary development, reading and writing skills.  These websites which bring more than five thousand activities to the teachers to implement it using the grades of each classroom environment.  If we are able to frame each activity using ABCD model, we can bring in considerable output (not in a day's time) in the long run.

Fourthly, the technology enhanced lesson plan which had grilled me to undergo the real process of designing the effective lesson plan keeping the curriculum in mind and how practically the learners would benefit at the end of the session.  Though I had worked out similar session plans for Cambridge certification, this technology enhanced lesson plan had made me internalize and reflect it from the learners' point of view.  I always believe in the adage 'The teacher is the first learner' and this becomes true because this lesson plan diagnosed the higher -order thinking skills through appropriate evaluation techniques. The lesson plan has given me greater insight and at most satisfaction.

Finally, I discussed the step 4 for project work dealing with the the specific needs, issues or problems.  This could be developed into the typical project work at the later stage of the project.  I discussed the background of my learners considering their medium of instruction during their schooling, the level of input received by them in early days, the pattern of getting into the common system of engineering process, and the  different course works undertaken during their first year engineering degree programme. I emphasized the specific needs and issues such as identifying topic sentences, exposure to on-line reading activities and summarizing the reading text.  When I discussed this with my colleagues and students, they became excited and would like to see the outcome in a fruitful manner.

I found the comments from the instructor and the colleagues are like the seeds from the banyan trees and germinate through proper practices and will grow like a huge tree in the years to come...

S.Sankarakumar

2 comments:

Cherry said...

Hi Sankarakumar

Thanks for sharing with us your reflections on the fourth week. In deed you'd tried and learned a lot and I'm happy that you're putting things that you'd learned in to practise with your classrooms. The Ling's article that you'd read I too liked and thought of a reading activity around those lines which I posted in our Nicenet discussion thread. As I can see you'd explored many websites too. Best again with your learning and teaching.
Regards, Cherry.

Ina Volosciuc said...

Hi Sankarakumar,

As usually the week had very interesting discussion topics. I see that you also liked Mei-Ya Liang's article Three Extensive Reading Activities for ESL/EFL, I liked online extensive reading, as I have always liked reading, and I consider that we, teachers, should motivate our students read as much as possible.

I likes the simile that you used in the conclusion!

Ina