Monday, January 31, 2011

What is Extensive Reading?

The rationale plus various views, definitions and permutations of the term Extensive Reading

Characteristics of Extensive Reading

from Day & Bamford, p. 7-8

Extensive Reading: Why? and How

by Timothy Bell, from The Internet TESL Journal

The Inescapable Case for Extensive Reading

By Rob Waring, included in A. Cirocki (Ed.) Extensive Reading in English Language Teaching

The Edinburgh Project on Extensive Reading

Postgraduate Study & Research

Extensive Reading: What Is It? Why Bother?

by Julian Bamford & Richard R. Day, The Language Teacher, May 1997

Graded and Extensive Reading — Questions and Answers

by Rob Waring, The Language Teacher, May 1997

The Language Learning Benefits of Extensive Reading

by Paul Nation, The Language Teacher, May 1997

Reaching Reluctant Readers

by Richard Day and Julian Bamford, in Forum, Vol 38 No 3, July – September 2000

Reading courses – a question of self-motivation?

by Andrew Barfield, Learning Learning, Vol.3, no.3 (January, 1997)

SSS Extensive Reading Method Proves Effective Way to Learn English

by FURUKAWA Akio, SEG (Scientific Education Group), April 2006

Telling the Truth about Extensive Reading

by Jasna Dubravcic, The Language Teacher, December 1996

Why Extensive Reading should be an indispensable part of all language programs

by Rob Waring (PDF file)

Why do you like Extensive Reading?

Responses to a questionnaire conducted by Rob Waring, Autumn 1999.

Posted via email from Academentia

Thursday, January 27, 2011

English Language (ESL) Learning Online

Hello study group members and visitors,

I'd like to be able to report and start discussing design updates, but it may have to wait a bit longer. I started another set of open online courses. Only Multiliteracies at EVO (TESOL workshop) is ESL related. The other two, Connectivism and Learning Analytics, are still about online education. So expect me to bring back materials and ideas. That's where yesterday's slide show about PLE's came from.

SlideShare presentations make good, short reading assignments. I'll look for some on ESL topics. While I'm busy with the courses, expect more "recycled" lessons like this one ~ in addition to what I pick up in the courses to share with you. Connectivism in action.

Comments and evaluations invited ~ maybe I should add a button for rating posts. Don't forget suggestions and ideas for study group redesign.


Resources for English as a Second Language provides a large collection of English as a Second Language (ESL) tools & resources for students, teachers, learners and academics. Browse our grammar glossary and references of irregular verbs, phrasal verbs and idioms, ESL forums, articles, teacher handouts and printables, and find useful links and information on English. Topics cover the spectrum of ESL, EFL, ESOL, and EAP subject areas.

Posted via email from Academentia

Friday, January 21, 2011

Writing Exercise: 25 Word Stories

... and you can write your own today. How much of a story can you write in just 25 words? Give it a try. Write for yourself, blog your stories, share them with a writing groups or (addressing Blogging English readers) post your story as a comment to this post.

For example, here are "Three Stories Kevin's Meandering Mind Wrote Yesterday"

Some days, the stories just unfold.

Yesterday, I wrote four 25-word stories and I really liked three of them. The fourth was, OK, but not great. Interestingly enough, two of the stories were directly inspired by tweets in my Twitter stream. I read what two of my friends (Bill Ferriter, @plugusin; and Brian Fay, @brianfay) posted, caught a glimpse of a story and wrote it out. The third story just came out of nowhere, but it turns out to be the one I like best of all.

First of all, Bill was posting some thoughts about using a Livescribe pen, which is a nifty transcription tool that can create podcasts from writing and more. So, I wondered, what if the pen didn’t do what it was supposed to do, but did something a little … odd (I may have had Twilight Zone in my mind.)


She realized the Livescribe Pen was writing something other than the transcription. It dawned on her then what was happening.

Then, later, Brian was writing about using his wife’s computer. He has been experimenting with the new Google Chrome netbook, which is entirely cloud based, and he was noting how odd it now felt to be living off the desktop instead of in the browser. I like the double meaning of cookies here, and wished I could have played off that a bit more. The constraints of the story didn’t allow that.


Near the bookmarks, inside the cache & just out of reach of the cookies, she made a little nest & went to live in her browser.

But the story I really thought I nailed was this next one. I think an NPR story about Wikipedia I listened to the other day was still rolling around in my mind. And I had this idea of connecting a wiki to tattoos, for some reason (I can’t remember the connection I was thinking of now, so I guess it doesn’t really matter). With 25-word stories, remember, it is all about what is not being said, and trying to get a little “kicker” in there. It’s difficult to pull off. I think I did it with this one that, in just a few words, says all you need to know about this relationship. I think the word “tartly,” which I added only in the last moment, makes all the difference in the world here, don’t you?

“What if my body and spirit are nothing but a living wiki,” he wondered. She replied tartly, “You’d have a lot of edits.”

Peace (in the hint fiction),

PS — The story I didn’t like so much, even though it hit closer to home?

The taxi rolled up, on schedule. Their eyes never left the cell phones. They opened the door. “Home?” “Duh. Of course, dad.”

posted to both Blogging English for my students and Just Writing

Posted via email from Just Writing

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My New Year Day's resolution in 2011

Sorry for my no posting to Blogging English for long time.
I found my post on the 'Tag Cloud' on the front page of Blogging English this week. It was dated on January 04, 2008. Its title was 'My New Years Day's Resolution'. It has passed three years since then. I reviewed it.

Well, I keep to do following things everyday.
a) I read an article on web news, Washington Post at least.
b) I listen to news on NPR,ABC, BBC etc.
c) I write my journal.

I couldn't achieve to do following things:
a) " E-mail to friends once a month":  I have three friends who exchange e-mail in English. I could have written to a friend only once in three months.
b)  "read 3 books in English": I could read only one book in English every year.

To tell the truth, ever day workings in English above become my habits. If I don't do one of them, I feel something wrong. So I'd like to keep these regular habits this year too.

I like reading books in my mother tongue,  but I can't read it in English. This is my problem. I'll read two books this year. I announced  my resolution in Blogging English. So I do my best to achieve it.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Announcing Blog Changes in Blog

Blogging English's "who can read" setting for  has been changed from "only blog authors" and "by invitation" to "open to all readers by default." Those with posting privileges, designated as contributors, have not been changed. Yet. However, the old saying, "use it or lose" applies here as well. 

Settings to send email notifications to our most recent members will be discontinued. Now that the blog is open you can subscribe to updates by RSS feed or email. I'll add buttons for those. 

So where does Blogging English go from here?  I will continue to post study and English learning materials, links to resources. The emphasis will still be on writing and self-paced study. I welcome posts by contributors but do ask that you check with me first.

What about writing and getting feedback on your? What if you want me to read something you have written ~ and you don't want the whole world to read it? 

If that comes up, we can start a group just for writing on Google Groups or Posterous. You are, of course, welcome and encouraged to write privately or with a writing buddy. Finding, reviewing and posting resources for independent writers will be an important project. 

At some point though, you will need another set of eyes on what you write. It takes a very long time and much skill to learn how to become your own editor.  Peer editing, reading and commenting constructively on someone else's writing help you develop editing skills.

No, I will not read and comment on or edit drafts privately. I will read and offer suggestions on drafts posted to a writing group. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Writing and Learning Independence

Student: "Aren't you going to correct it for me?" 
Me: "No, you're going to do it."
Student: (Disgusted sigh)

There was an article last week on HuffPost College by admissions consultant advising parents on how they can back away from their High School Junior and Senior aged kids in the name of independence and self-sufficiency. And then results of a new survey comes out claiming that parents are hovering around their college attending children more than ever. And while I fall to the side of letting kids go and making their own way and their own mistakes, I don't think that students are adequately prepared to succeed academically on their own. 

What do I mean by this? As I stated in my previous column on how most admissions standards encourages a narrow focus on only certain kinds of writing, students have no idea how to adapt their writing depending on the circumstances and demands of their assignments. More troubling, perhaps, is a general inability of students to look at their own writing and work to improve it. 

We are currently doing peer-review and self-assessments in my writing classes. The exercises are guided, using questions and directions that exactly mirror my own process when evaluating their work. My goal is to get them to be more critical and aware readers of their own writing, partially through looking at the work of others, partially through repeatedly revising their own writing. 

With my developmental writing class, we are working on a short narrative essay, which makes it easier for me to work with them and offer my own feedback along with the feedback of their peers. Plus, this is a developmental writing course - they need more help, or else they wouldn't have been placed in the course to begin with. In my larger 200-level class, we are writing a longer essay. When I revealed to the students that I would not be giving them any feedback on their drafts, I faced an open revolt. How did I expect them to do well on the essay when they didn't know what I would be grading them on?

First question, how do you write your papers in other classes where there is no peer-review or drafting process? Second question, how do you ever expect to be able to do this on your own if you don't start somewhere? If you don't know how to properly cite sources, what good does it do for me to simply correct your mistakes for you? If you don't know the rules for proper comma use (which I have to now check and double-check myself), what good does it do for me to just mark it on your paper? 

My goal is always to teach my students skills and how to adapt them to different situation. In other words, academic independence. Or, more appropriately, intellectual independence. Parents can't do their school work for them; then again, neither can I.

Still no response to the poll. Basically, polling about whether or not to open a closed blog asks study group members to share responsibility for decisions about their learning. So this post about students taking responsibility for their learning ~ the only road to academic independence ~ is my response to non-responsiveness.

Posted via email from Academentia

Thursday, January 06, 2011



My PLN Blueprint in 5 parts

Educator Tom Whitby, blogging from My Island View, writes, 
This was one of my early posts explaining how I became involved in Social Media and the idea of a Personal Learning Network.It seems to be a topic that needs to be continually explained because of the growing number of educators who continue to enter the world of social media for educators. 
Part 1
One of today’s educational buzzwords, or fad terms is the PLN.  For my purposes it stands for Personal Learning Network. Others call it a Professional Learning Network or Community or even Environment. That would be PLN, PLN, PLC, or PLE. Many educators today are involved understanding and developing their own PLN’s. Everyone has one, and each is different and as unique as a fingerprint. Some employ technology, and others dwell in faculty rooms across the country and around the world. 
The history of my PLN began back in the late 70’s. It was formed not through the technology of the computer, but rather about the technology of a 27 foot sailing vessel. It was merely a sailboat, but in my mind, being my first boat, it was truly a vessel.
I live on Long Island in New York. It is a place where boating thrives for about five to six months a year, beginning in June and ending in October. As I grew up, I always went on others’ boats, but never owned my own. Working in a school district of a community on the shore of an island, I found many of my faculty friends were avid boaters. More specifically they were sail boaters , or more accurately, sailors. It was at this time of my life that I made a big decision to become a boat owner. I purchased a brand new 27 foot O’Day sailboat. There was only one small drawback to this major purchase and commitment, I had no idea how to sail. 
I took a Coast Guard Course and read a bunch of books. I ordered several catalogues and every sailing Magazine subscription I could get delivered. As my purchase was being readied for delivery, I determined that my preparation might be lacking. That is when I developed a plan out of desperation. This was to be my first organized development of a Personal Learning Network
The plan was simple and bordered on genius. It was based on knowing that sailors are a breed of boaters who love to sail at every opportunity. I informed the Yacht dealer that I wanted to take delivery of my vessel in the water and ready to sail in April. This was unheard of, since boating season did not really get going until June. That, however, was the genius part. I had two months before all of the sailors that I knew would have their own boats in the water. I on the other hand had a spanking-new Sailing vessel at their “Beck and call”. They only needed to take the owner along for the sail. I had about ten experienced sailors teaching me all that they knew in my Personal Learning Network. I was golden. 
I also recognized that I stumbled upon a real plan for personal learning. I did not want to make any other major purchases to test my assumptions, but I did pay close attention to what I had accomplished and how I did it. I took note of what I needed to know and how I gather those who knew it around me. 
With the advent of the Internet I have expanded my reach for those who know what I need to know. I have developed a PLN beyond the faculty room and to Educational experts literally around the world.

Possibly the best description of the Personal Learning Network and how it works. Thinking just in terms of technology is misleading. I remember my first PLN: I was 14 and certainly didn't call it that. I was just trying to learn about something new on my own. Posted via email from Academentia

Listen and Write - Dictation

Listen and Write

Improve your listening skills and hear about the news. is free listening practice.

Posted via email from Academentia

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