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I am a translator and interpreter for English, French and Spanish and an ESP/EFL teacher as well. I teach at the Social Communication School at the Central University of Venezuela. Currently, I am doing a master’s program in Teaching of English as a Foreign Language, which has been helping me to improve and complete my expertise on the teaching of second languages. I have taught English and French for eleven years now and I have worked with students of all different ages, meeting their needs on areas such as speaking, reading, listening and writing. I also teach private sessions for professionals who need to learn or improve their language level. Nowadays, most of my students are doctors and engineers who want to develop their skills to keep updated with their fields. I also translate a variety of texts for individuals and companies which require the service.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

4. Blogging

In our fourth ICT session, the topic was blogging. It is one of the new trends in the 21st century, which have revolve the tech world by being one of the most popular Web 2.0 tools. The word Blog is a contraction of “web log” and it is a type of website usually maintained by an individual with regular entries about a great variety of topics, descriptions of events, among others. One of the multiple advances of this kind of personal website is the possibility to add other materials such as graphics, texts, links, pictures or videos, as well as allowing the readers to leave any comments and even to participate of the construction of the site. In simple words, a Blog is a personal online diary (Wikipedia, 2009).
The use of blogs nowadays has become so popular that one can find a huge amount of forums in which many try to define the concept.
According to Howard Kaushansky, chief executive officer at Umbria Communications, a blogging market research firm in Boulder, the definition of blog is changing because "Originally a blog was defined by the service you used or the host or by the tool you used to create the posting. So if you used [hosts] LiveJournal or Blogger, that was a blog. If you used Moveable Type [software], that was a blog. The reason the definition is changing is that these tools have made it so easy that there are companies who use a blog rather than a website. ... So it's a little bit more challenging today to define a blog."
Although the discussion is still a bit difficult because of the social impact blogs have had, it is undoubtedly that they are definitely an accessible powerful tool.
As Kaushansky asserts, if big companies and corporations prefer to have a blog instead of website, the question now is that if the use of blogs with educational purposes would enhance or develop students’ abilities in a foreign language.
The department of Education of the Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) states in its website that “from an education perspective the availability and ease of use of blogging software makes creating blogs a viable classroom activity and a means for teachers to communicate with other teachers”.
In the case of ELT, blogs provide a communication space that we teachers can use to develop writing, speaking, share ideas and even reflect on work being undertaken in the classroom. Blogs is a tool to give students a voice into their own learning process and to develop their skills beyond the walls of a classroom.


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