The use of blogs in EFL teaching is very common today because of the multiple choices that it offers to teachers and students to develop language skills as it integrates external resources like videos, images, other web sites, podcasts and other elements that can foster students’ creativity and autonomy to design their own spaces.
Besides, blogs can facilitate the development of collaborative skills as it is very interactive, students can interact among themselves and with others who do not belong to the same school environment by exchanging ideas and impressions about different topics. In this line, Stanley (2006) (cited en Blackstone, Spiri y Naganuma, 2007) states that “(Blogs are) a way of opening up the classroom walls and showing the wider world what is happening... thus creating a small language learning community”, which means that several language skills such as reading, listening and writing can be developed when students access to the blog.
Also, it can be said that this tool has the five main characteristics that makes language learning through the Internet ALIVE: (Warschauer, et al. 2000) because:
- It is authentic because the topics published in the blog are based on real topics and the opinions expressed by the readers are sincere. It is not a mechanical answer that has been previously studied to answer an exam, for instance.
- It is literate, as students have to research to support their opinions and also computer skills are required to publish something correctly in a blog.
- It is interactive as a lot of people can communicate in the same discussion, even if they do not belong to the class.
- It has vitality because it can be designed according to the author likes. It is not a simple and common layout for everybody.
- It empowers students by developing writing skills and digital literacy.
The previously described features make the blog one of the easy to use tool in foreign language teaching because of their designs and the different uses we can give them, moreover it can be used at any level and it can be adapted to any activity you want to do.
From the educational and communicative point of view, blogs are interactive electronic media, in which teachers may integrate a wide range of resources that encourage students to express their opinions freely in a second language, without being intimidated by constraints of time or immediate fluidity. Thanks to this kind of tools, learners have the opportunity of organizing their ideas before publish them and edit them when necessary.
However, it is also important to teach students that the blog is not only a tool to develop class activities but also a one of the different types of communication media that exists nowadays, so when someone publish something in a blog is becoming an author and therefore it is important to express thoughts and opinions in a clear an responsible way
Here you have a video that explain the use of the blog in education:
Blackstone, B., Spiri, J. y Naganuma, N. (2007) Blogs in English Language Teaching and Learning: Pedagogical uses and Student Responses. [Online document]. Retrieved from:
Washchauer, M., Shetzer, H. y Meloni, C. (2000) Internet for English Teaching. Virginia. USA. Ed. TESOL. (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages)