Creating eBooks: The eDiary17-Sep-2013
There are various ways of describing language in the classroom, using suitable purpose-specific methods and approaches. To me, Jeremy Harmer’s theory of the ESA (Engage- Study- Activate) process in class corresponds with an interactive and motivating way of teaching language and managing learners in the best possible way.
This idea has led me to the creation of a ‘magical book’ of my students’ language achievements over the last year. My aim was to engage the interest of teenage learners, to provoke their thinking and at the same time to allow them to explore the potential of their language skills in a ‘freer’ way. I announced my intention to collect all the pieces of their creative writing over the year in a special online diary. The first reason for my decision was to experiment with a more holistic approach towards language teaching in the classroom, which was based on a processed technique.
The teenagers decided that the best procedure for them would be to plan their written works in class, which would result in team discussions, reviewing, editing, voting for the best products and finally – publishing the best samples in the online book.
The online book would engage their attention and provide them with:
– a place to have a more comprehensive educational experience online
– the opportunity to develop their imagination
– a sense of unity, which would motivate them to collaborate and cooperate when taking part in writing and designing an eBook
The book would also remind them of their language abilities and achievements. Moreover, the learners knew they would benefit from creating eBook. They might read the online book outside the classroom and show it to their parents.
That is how my idea of an Engage-Study-Activate approach was realized, and it led me and my students to a successful final product.
We came up with a decision to include several sections, or chapters, in the book, which represent different ways of creative thinking, such as:
– Argumentative essays
– Letter writing
– Short stories
– Postcard writing
First, the topics were brainstormed and discussed in class. Then the students had to present the final outcomes. Subsequently, debates were held in class again and the teenagers were able to express their positive criticism regarding the presentations; outlining their pros and cons. In the end, all of them voted for the best presentations. As a result, the decision whose writing should be included in the eBook was made by a jury, elected by students.
The digital book really prepared learners for speaking and writing exams, it also provided them with an opportunity to form great teams and do useful research. The book motivated them to focus on the layout and organization of essays, stories and reviews and to think of the appropriate vocabulary to be used for different purposes.
The online book was easy to create; the whole process was pleasant and fruitful, full of enjoyment and fun. We plan to develop the book further and even invite other groups from our language centre to contribute to it.
This is the online address of the book: http://diary.com/ahristova
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