Ma king Us e of B log g ing a nd
W ikis in t h e MF L Cla s s r oom
A le x B la g ona
La ng ua g e Colle g e Coor d ina t or
N or t h g a t e Hig h S c h ool, I ps wic h
2 5 t h F e b r ua r y 2 0 0 8
www.nor t h g a t e mf l.c o.uk
Is this the future?
“Young pe ople ’s f a milia r it y wit h I CT of f e r s a
g r e a t oppor t unit y t o la ng ua g e t e a c h e r s . I t s e e ms
t o us t h a t a d e t e r mine d c ommit me nt t o us e t h is
wor ld , wh ic h is s o f a milia r t o y oung pe ople , is a k e y
t o inc r e a s ing t h e e ng a g e me nt of y oung pe ople of
a ll a g e s wit h la ng ua g e s . N e w t e c h nolog ie s c a n
f a c ilit a t e r e a l c ont a c t s wit h s c h ools a nd y oung
pe ople in ot h e r c ount r ie s . T h e y c a n a ls o pr ovid e
s t imulus f or c r e a t ive a nd int e r a c t ive wor k .”
(Lord De aring - Language s Re vie w March 2 0 0 7 )
Improving language skills by Blogging…
• Lets you READ the content…
• Gives you the opportunity to WRITE
both comment and content…
• Offers a format to present SPOKEN
• Which you, er…LISTEN to!
• Web + log = Blog
• Used as an online diary, journal, source of
news, and publishing of students’ work
What did we consider?
Why are we doing this?
Who is going to bother reading it?
What do we put on it?
How can we use a blog?
• Sharing good ideas and resources.
• Raising awareness of MFL across the school
• Online diaries of school trips and exchanges.
• Getting students to assess each other’s work.
• Broadcasting podcasts and mp3s
“Es war ziemlich gut, aber die Musik war sehr langweilig. Bob, Sam und Alpal war
lustig, und ich habe Pizza gegessen.” Callum
“Funky music!!! It was well good. Well done to all the people who did it!!! Oh and I
loved Sam, Alex and Robert’s laugh! “Hahaha, Oh Alex!” However some people
could have tried to do it in a clear German accent.” Sophie
“Mr Cobbold's class thinks - very good! Jack B. liked the music, Billy said it was
funny - but the challenge is now set - can 9BGn1 do better? We will see…”
It was very good because everyone took it seriously. The music was really good,
but some of the other people could have tried to do it in a German accent! Alex
It was very good and I liked the accents everyone was doing - it made it sound
really German. I didn’t like the music and I don't think that it went with the kind of
thing that we were talking about so that could be changed and I liked it how
everyone was talking really clearly and greeting them and saying goodbye. It was
really good and I really want to do another one soon!! Louise
What are the problems?
• Keeping it up to date
• Technology over Teaching?
• Building an audience
• Overcoming fears and concerns
Are the students safe?
Students only use first names
Never give out email addresses
Never give out home addresses
Never give out telephone numbers
Always respect others
Do not use rude or threatening words
Do not use text talk or chat language
Do not copy other people’s work
You will be responsible for everything you write
You will check your spelling before posting
Where are we now?
• Resource - used by over 100 students a
week to download/revise/extend
• Reference - used by schools across the
What’s so good about it?
• Creativity and global citizenship.
• It’s not new for pupils who use
• Helps subject to be more relevant to kids.
• It’s quite simple to use.
• Writing for a purpose (real audience) increases
standards at all levels - it’s real communication.
• Allows for peer assessment through comments in a
safe environment - electronic form of assessment for
QuickTimeﾪ and a
are needed to see this picture.
Using a wiki to get your students working together
A ‘wiki’ is a simple to use website that allows users to
create their own entries, which can then be edited and
changed by other users.
In MFL we can use ‘wikis’ to get students to create,
share, correct and discuss their work with each other in
a secure and personalised environment.
What makes wikis remarkable?
•Anyone can add, edit, or delete a page.
•Users control the design and organisation
of the wiki.
•On most wikis, what you write is more
important than how it looks.
Useful examples of MFL wikis
Wiki as a Collaboration tool
•Students like the ability to collaborate.
•The wiki facilitates, but doesn’t teach collaboration skills - the
students need time to get used to the idea!
•Students need help organising collaborative writing projects.
•Wiki management is ideally controlled by the students, but
monitored by the teachers.
•Students need to develop wiki-skills - but it is a great way to aid
•The “history” and “recent changes” tools can help with
Wiki as information pool/resource
•Students can create learning materials!
•Wikis allow a variety of authorship/ownership
•Wikis break down the dynamics of traditional writing
•It is very hard to let go of the idea of “ownership” of
•Wikis can expand both the audience and the
participants in writing projects.
•Plagiarism can be an issue.
“What I like best about the Wiki”
• “The chance to be creative was great - and it’s better
than just writing it - we could put whatever we wanted
on there (pictures, responses, content).”
• “I like to see my classmates’ work. It was also fun to
see [their] comments on my work.”
• “Seeing some of the phrases used in people’s essays
made me want to make my essay better.”
• “It gives you a chance to feel part of a group - we can
learn from the rest of the group - and it makes sure
you do your homework.”
• “I liked the flexibility a lot.”
New, corrected text in green, deleted text in red.
Want to start your own blog?
Want to create a wonderful wiki?