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Video Blogging in EFL/ESL Classrooms: Challenges, Options and Opportunities

by on Apr 09, 2010


Video Blogging in EFL/ESL Classrooms: ...

Video Blogging in EFL/ESL Classrooms:
Challenges, Options and Opportunities

Ke Xu

Borough of Manhattan Community College
City University of New York

I. Challenges to Video blogging in EFL/ESL classrooms

• Students’ lack of vocabulary and linguistic competence in the actual use of the target language prevents them from freely expressing themselves orally in another language;

• Students’ inability to respond to their peer’s blogs due to their lack of language competence, background knowledge or cultural difference;

• Students’ lack of sustained interest in Vblogging in another language and the temptation to fall back on their first language is too great;

• Teachers’ lack of knowledge about where they can make best use of video blogging in their teaching and how to integrate video blogging into their curriculum;

• Lack of sustained support from tech experts, or a good coordination between the teaching and tech support forces

• Lack of funding resources for equipments

II. In What Ways Can Video Blogging Benefit EFL/ESL Teaching?

EFL/ESLTeachers may find many ways in which a Vblog can be beneficial to their teaching. They don’t have to be technically savvy — a basic consumer camcorder, or even a digital camera with video recording function and an SDHC memory card, and a computer with free editing software and an internet connection are all you need. By assigning recording and editing duties to students, you’ll also be teaching them technical skills and reducing your own work burden for the Vblog!

Vblogs can be used to

• Present new learning materials
• Illustrate, clarify or explain concepts, ideas and points of views
• Reinforce and consolidate learning by helping students review the content they have learnt before
• Conduct peer editing in pairs or group activities (by asking students to comment on each other’s video clips)
• Provide visual prompts for students’ group/class discussion
• Assess students’ listening comprehension, conversation skills, pronunciation, stress, and intonation
• Increase students’ awareness of pronunciation, intonation, stress, etc.
• Form student online learning community so that they can share their experience and help each other
• Sharpen students’ observation and critical thinking skills
• Promote collaborate learning by asking students to create and fulfill group projects
• Enable teachers to better understand their students
• Motivate students to open up their month and promote their oral presentation skills and conversation skills
• Motivate or enlist students’ interest in learning the target language and related culture
• Document and track teachers’ work so that they could reflect on their own work later
• Share ideas and thoughts with fellow teachers and researchers

III. Teachers’ Options in Successfully Meeting the Challenges

To successfully meet the challenges listed above, here are a few possible options for teachers’ consideration:

• Screen carefully the vocabulary and grammatical items to be used in the video clips and make sure the difficulty level of the clip does not exceeds students’ comprehension ability; Identifying words and phrases in the video clip students may not understand due to their low proficiency or lack of knowledge of the culture related to the target language, and scaffolding your teaching by supplying these words and phrases before hand in supplementary readings or exercises;

• Teach your students how to respect other people’s work and make positive comments on their fellow students’ blogs by taking them to visit some best-known educational blog sites or student blog sites, by modeling to your students how to make a comment step by step. If you are teaching beginning level students, you need to teach them the specific words and phrases they may need in commenting on others’ blogs;

• Create



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14 of 4 previous next Post a comment

  • abba1378 abba1378 Teachers should incorporate blogging in the classroom to motivate ELL students to participate. This would help them to learn vocabulary words and use sentences in the English language. It would even help them with writing conversations with their peers in the class. Teachers should show their ELL students the vocabulary words and phrases that are appropriate for talking with their peers. I think your right English Language Learners should be encouraged to use English rather than their first language by letting them watch video clips, visit websites, or read articles of similar themes, or subjects and English, making sure that they have enough vocabulary to use in their assignment. The objective is to make sure that the student does not want to fall back on their first language. 2 years ago
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  • VictorKruchkov VictorKruchkov Victor Kruchkov, Associate Professor of English at Ryazan State University, Russia.
    I believe an EFL teacher should motivate students to reply to their peers' blogs by setting it as an online task of certain length and structure so that the 'respond-to-the-peers' task is also a learning aim. One's reply should be a learning event - reply by writing provocative questions or statements, comments and real life experience, adding new facts or data, etc.
    3 years ago
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  • kexukexu BMCC, City University of New York at BMCC, City University of New York Thanks, Victor, for your comment. I am glad that ELT professionals can exchange ideas on this platform. Yes, how to encourage our students to actively respond to their peers is a great challenge. We still have a long way to go to achieve our goal on this respect.

    Best wishes,

    3 years ago
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  • victorhugor Victor Hugo Rojas B., Associate `professor at UNE & UNMSM Just such a complete information about blogging in EFL classes. I agree with you about students do not 'respond to their peers’ blog due to their lack of language competence, background knowledge or cultural difference' 3 years ago
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