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Location: Osnabrueck, Lower Saxony, Germany

Sunday, April 24, 2005 Message: 8410 From: Received: Fr Apr 22, 2005 7:13 Subject: English from zero "I might be teaching" has turned into "I will be teaching". S... will be learning (we hope) English from scratch with me, 1to1, on Monday. He says (in German) that he's very curious and can't imagine how you can learn a foreign language from zero. This is a quaint remark since he is bilingual, Russian & German, but, of course, he wasn't, at least at the start, formally taught either of the languages he speaks. Thinking ahead (of course it isn't preparation.....) I can see that there are lots of phrases, chunks that we'll need as soon as possible - Can you repeat that, please? What's the English for....? Do you know...? Did you understand? I'm going to be very sparing with my use of German, and phase it out pretty damned fast. If S. speaks German, I'll answer in English just throwing in the necessary words of German if he looks desparate. I'm going to be his only source of English. I'll see how we go. Comments from people on this list or with access to will be welcome at all times. Dennis


Blogger Graham said...

Dennis, you said in your previous post that "I've been very sceptical about blogs and what they can do that an email list can't. So this will also be an exploration of the usefulness or otherwise of writing an account of a small teaching and learning project and making it available to anyone who wishes to make comments."

I may be wrong, but I doubt whether you'll receive many comments / responses to your blog if you're reporting on discussion in another list.

For one, the participants on the email list already receive what you are posting and have a way of responding.

The other, important thing to remember is how discussion in blogs work. People need to know about your blog, and be persuaded to 'subscribe' to it, just as people sign up to a discussion email list, so you'll need to publicise it.

The subscription part, when referring to a blog comes most simply when someone keeps coming back to visit your blog. Another way is when people add your blog to their aggregator (e.g. Bloglines)and so can see whenever you update it.

Another thing to remember is that just about everyone who uses the Internet uses email, and so email lists don't need to be explained or understood. I am a member of several emailing lists, and recognise the value of them. I don't see any need to choose between blogging and an email list, totally discarding one or the other.

I think Blogging is more personal. A blog is 'owned', and other people are invited round to discuss, but the owner can erase or block the comments if he or she wants to.

A discussion list is more impersonal, more objective, colder if you like.

Ironically, the personal aspects of blogging are what attract me to it. I would never use an emailing list with students, for example. I wouldn't dream of doing it (would you?). However, I think blogging is a great way to get students involved, and can be very 'Dogme'

9:28 am  

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