Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Expanding ESL Classroom Horizons with Weblogs: Educators' Perspective

In this information age that brings about the telecommunication revolution, education is also constantly shifting – new technologies have redefined educational emphasis from content to learners and their learning processes. Based on The Development of Education National Report Malaysia (2004), the use of technology has become one of the objectives and principal characteristics of forthcoming educational reforms. However, not many studies have been conducted to determine students’ perceptions of one of the revolutionary Web 2.0 applications – weblog as a language learning tool in spite of its immense potentials in educational context. Owing to the substantial benefits of blogging and to reach ICT-enhanced teaching and learning, the main objectives of this study are: (1) to describe the overt instructions of creating a weblog with Blogger (a free blogging service); (2) to provide a preliminary report about the implementation of weblogs in English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom; and (3) to suggest the techniques for educators to use weblogs in classroom. By using convenient sampling method, the study involves 58 diploma students from one of the universities in Malaysia.

Before conducting a survey, students were given a language task that required them to create individual weblog. After one week of completing the task, a questionnaire survey was administered among the students to find out their perceptions of weblog as a language learning tool. Based on the results of the study, all students felt that weblog is an easy and useful tool for writing. The study demonstrates the significance of students’ perceptions of weblogs and educator’s roles to ensure the successfulness of weblog implementation in ESL classroom. The findings have further implied that students need to be more exposed to blogging with systematic guidance from the educators.

Citation (APA 6th ed.):
Mah, B. Y. (2009). Expanding ESL classroom horizons with weblogs: Educators' perspective. The 2nd International Conference on e-Learning 2009 Proceedings (pp. 1-8). Selangor, Malaysia: i-Learn Centre, Universiti Teknologi MARA.

Click HERE to access the full text.