Creating Blogs for your partner class

Working in groups, students create blogs (using blogger or another free, easy-to-use tool) which present themselves and aspects of their local culture. Students from the different partner universities then post comments and questions on their partners&#39 blogs.


You can see previous examples of blogs which my students made for an exchange here: http://killingtorrente.blogspot.com.es/ http://places-of-wonder.blogspot.com.es/ http://ourrealspain.blogspot.com.es/


Usually, students create the blogs in their target language and receive feedback from their partners in this same language. This would mean that in a Spanish-American exchange, the Spanish students would create their blogs in English and the Americans would create their blogs in Spanish.

Institution reporting the task:

University of León

Language of task instructions:

English

Target Group:

Foreign languages

Level:

B1

References and acknowledgements:

None

Type:

Information exchange

Estimated Duration:

4 sessions

Topic:

local culture

Tags:

culture

Acknowledgements:

None

Language Configurations:

Bilingual

Language(s) that the task can be used in:

Any

Dominant language production:

Writing/reading synchronous

Target Competences:

Intercultural skills
Online communication skills
Media literacy

Specific pedagogical objectives:

Development of students interest in cultural similarities and differences
Creation of a friendly, non-threatening atmosphere in the groups

Suggested Communication Tools:

Blogs

Suggested Resources:

Students can create blogs using free online tools such as blogger and WordPress.

Instructions:


In this task you will create an online blog about life in your home town, country and culture, in groups of five or six students. You can choose the content of the blogs but they should be interesting, informative and culturally sensitive.


When each group has finished its blog, it will be
presented to your online partners in the other countries. For this reason, you should keep in mind that you are writing for a foreign audience which may not know much about life in your country.


When you publish your blogs, students from the partner universities will read them and post comments and questions for you. In addition, you will read and comment on theirs.


Task Aims


In this task you will have the opportunity to:

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write collaboratively with other students from your own class,

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improve your writing skills in English,

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produce something together through team work,

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present your own culture to members of other cultures,

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publish and react to original material online,

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improve your digital skills.

What should your group&#39 s blog contain?

Treat your blog like an online newspaper about your lives as students. Each blog should initially have 3 different posts or articles. These articles can be reports on recent events or developments in your country, interviews with interesting personalities (e.g. teachers, foreign students, local personalities), reviews (e.g. of national music albums or concerts) or a report on a survey you carried out about students&#39 opinions. Just remember that you are writing for students who probably know very little about your country and your culture!!!

Each article should be about 600 words long and should also include pictures, sound or video files. Each blog should also be appropriately designed with photos, headlines, links, etc.

Learner Texts:

You can see some examples done by other Spanish students here:
http://leononfocus.blogspot.com/

http://castanaspilongas.blogspot.com/

Document related to the task:

None

Criteria for Completion:


Here is a table with sample assessment criteria for the blog task:


Categories

Criteria

Mark

Structure and Organisation

The blog contains at least three articles. The blog includes includes at least one video, one audio recording or podcast, and two links. The links or embedded media are reliable and relevant to the topic and sources are clearly cited.

0-1-2


Your blog design is clear and well-structured and it is evident who are the blog’ s authors and who is the intended audience.

0-1-2


In your blog entries, you organise layout, paragraphing and punctuation in a manner which is consistent and helpful for the reader.

0-1-2


The blog is aesthetically pleasing and is easy to read and navigate.


0-1-2

Languages and communication

You can express yourself with clarity and precision, using language flexibly and effectively.

0-1-2


You consistently maintain a high degree of grammatical accuracy. You rarely make grammatical errors.

0-1-2


Your spelling is generally accurate and you have no significant vocabulary errors.

0-1-2

Intercultural and sociolinguistic aspects

You use a register of language which is appropriate to a blog format and you use a level of formality which is appropriate for communicating with your audience of partner students in different countries.

0-1-2


Your blog entries about your home culture show that you understand what may be strange or confusing for students from other cultures.

0-1-2


You entries attempt to challenge stereotypes which other countries may have about your country and its people.

0-1-2

Final Mark



_/ 20









Comments and suggestions:

This works well as an introductory task in an exchange. Students really enjoy reading their partners&#39 blogs.

Author/copyright:

None

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