The Practice and Effects of Using Weblogs to Motivate EFL Non-English Majors to Read and Write in English Online

Abstract

With the remarkable advances in digital technologies, much attention has been paid to how Internet-mediated resources can be effectively used in ELT. To motivate my Taiwanese EFL students of non-English major, most of whom are heavy Internet users, to read extensively in English and share their responses to what they read with their peers online, a blog-assisted reading-to-write program was developed and incorporated into my 18-week Advanced University English curriculum. Two hundred texts collected from free news, magazine, and literature websites were posted on the tutor's blog. The students were required to choose one of them to read and then write a reading report on their own blogs. They then visited their group mates' blogs to read their reports and exchange opinions with one another by leaving or replying to comments. All this required no classroom time, and the students' blogs were regarded as e-portfolios that could be easily accessed and examined by the teacher anytime. A mixed-method study using multiple data sources from questionnaires, interviews and students' blog reports was conducted to investigate the effects of this program. Findings from both qualitative and quantitative data indicate that the program was especially effective in motivating these students to read extensively in English and to write well for their readers. There was also evidence that it increased their ability and confidence in tackling authentic English texts on their own and using English to comment on what they read. These findings provide significant pedagogical implications for future use of weblogs in ELT.



Author Information
Wan-lun Lee, Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: ACTC2013
Stream: Technology in the Classroom

This paper is part of the ACTC2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
Full Paper
View / Download the full paper in a new tab/window


Posted by amp21