Blogging about culture
Language learning is also absorbing the culture. Make your students be creative in exploring both English and English speaking countries’ culture.
Level: Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate
Aimed at: Teenagers
Aims: getting to know British culture via blogging
Time: long term project (1 semester), 1 lesson starting the project, 2-3 lessons finishing the project
What you need: internet connection, IT skills, dictionaries etc.
First of all, the teacher needs to know how to start a blog as the whole project is based on regular blogging. Therefore, you are supposed to choose one or two blogging sites that you will be able to present to your students.
Before starting the project it is recommended to ask your students what elements of culture are interesting for them: music, theatre, sport, museums, architecture, music clubs, libraries, universities etc. Then the teacher creates the list of elements that the students are supposed to take into consideration when creating their blogs. Then, the list of countries should be prepared: England, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand (depending on the number of groups).
- Explain your students that learning a language is also learning the culture of foreign country. Make them interested in English speaking countries by asking: Where do people speak English? Ask your students to show the countries on a map. Ask for basic information as the capital city, the longest river, the highest mountain, famous citizens. Your aim is to show that by learning English your students may make use of information from outside your classroom: from TV, geography and biology lessons etc.
- Divide the students into groups of 4. You may carry out the project within one class or the whole year or even school.
- Explain the aim of the project.
- Each group draws the country being the subject of their project.
- Explain the rules:
- Each group is responsible for their own blog.
- Members of the group should have different responsibilities in the project.
- The time for the project (for example: 4 months).
- Elements of blogs:
- Starting post explaining the aim of the project and elements of certain blog.
- Information about the authors.
- Information about the school.
- Posts concerning elements of culture of certain country.
- Different types of posts: written, video, photos, maps etc.
- There should be no “copy-paste”.
- The language used in blogs should be understandable for all students (no Google translator!).
- There should be 1 post per week.
- When placing photos or quoting the source has to be provided.
- During the lesson students are supposed to prepare the outline of their blog so that the teacher could asses it and correct it.
Students may be graded for their work. Therefore, the teacher needs to prepare an assessment sheet that will be given to the students during the first lesson. To make the project more important it may be placed on a school’s website.