Interested in Creativity in Language Teaching?
Ideas For Online And F2f Teaching

Interested in Creativity in Language Teaching?
Ideas For Online And F2f Teaching

Journaling can be a core practice in any distance learning programme--a way to guide learners in 'learning to learn' and to encourage them to revise and to keep in touch with English over the holidays when we do not hold classes (online or f2f).

Try setting up an informal project “Keeping and Sharing a Multimedia Input Journal” for those school breaks: end-of-term, Spring or Summer vacations when your learners may lose out from less-formal and challenging contacts with English.

“The Multimedia Input Journal” can be recorded into a paper notebook and handwritten or it can be a digital journal, in which learners can type word documents or use web tools such as Penzu, Vlog, to type, add images, links or sound bits and short videos.

The nature of a journal is private. To create this project as a language learning one, your learners will be asked, from the start, to share this journal with you, the reason being, to made the form of its content as accurate as possible. The sharing of selected sections of each learner’s journal, once classes have resumed, will depend of the supportive relationships of the learners themselves and how good you are at fostering mutual support among them.

Your guidelines on how the learners will set up their Multimedia Input Journal will depend on their level and how much access they have to ‘texts’ of all modalities: written or printed, sound/voice-recorded (CDs, radio, live music), television (series, films, documentaries, sports, news…), digital (to be found on the internet: posted texts on websites, DVD’s, blogs, short videos, animations…).

One idea is to work by presenting fixed categories, from which each individual can choose to record the name of the text which they read, listened to, or viewed. Of course, each learner can work with texts from more than one category.

Part One: Name your text and include citation of source
Text Type 1: an article or written text with or without photos or illustrations (magazine article, news report, a myth, an excerpt from a novel, a poem…)
Text Type 2: a recording (instrumental music, a song, radio program, an mp3 digital recording of an interview, recitation of a poem, radio drama…)
Text Type 3: a text with moving images and sound (videos, films, animations)
Text Type 4: a film or voice recording accompanied by English subtitles or a tapescript
Text Type 5: a still image or series of images (photos, drawings, paintings)
Text Type 6: a mental image of a thought or visualization of your own (a dream I had, a goal I imagined achieving…)

Part Two: Choose a verb or verbs to describe how you interacted with the text
3) VIEW only (for Text Type 5)
5) VIEW/ LISTEN/READ (for Text Type 4)
6) IMAGINE OR VISUALIZE (for Text Type 6)

Part Three: Your impressions
Write about what you learned or experience.
Recommend this photo, text, song…to a friend. Say why you would recommend it.

EXAMPLE from a B2 learner:
I. A photo (Text Type 5) [See photo on this post.] Source:
II. I viewed it.
III. My Impressions: If I could give this photo a title, I’d call it “Road To the Future: Looking Forward”. Looking at it made me feel how important it is to be positive and optimistic about the future.

RATIONALE: The rationale behind the Multimedia Input Journal is not only learners’ need to keep in contact with the target language during long absences from formal instruction, but our desire to make them aware of the great variety of ‘texts’ in today’s work and their use of receptive language skills to glean meaning from these texts and, their journal writing, their use of cognitive and metacognitive skills to be able to record and express their personal interaction with these texts. Another advantage of this project is training the learners to cite sources, when they record, and providing opportunities for peer teaching, when they share.