Facebook and Coursebook: It is possible to learn in social media.

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Hello There,

Every week, I write something that makes me reflect about teaching and learning. I teach Young Learners from an English Institution that allows me to develop materials and activities out of the coursebook. So, today I will share with you two activities that helped me so much with two different groups of students.

The first group was teenagers, full of energy and connect to websites. And our lesson was talking about ” Surprise Party”. First of all, I put it on the board the word “Party” and we started a brainstorm using questions: what kind of party do you like?, what do you usually eat or drink in a party? and on. After the brainstorm, we had to use the new vocabulary, it could be in an oral or writing activity, but where and How to work with them!

Thus, I suggested them to create an imaginary event for our imaginary party: where it woud be?, who would be invited to come to the party? and more ideas were created in a group with 12 teenagers. So, The main idea of this activity was to engage the students to use the new vocabulary by facebook platform.

As part of my research about language acquisition, what I could evaluate is that the coursebook just guided my lesson plan, but it was not the essential part of my teaching. The ideas were builded within the knowledge about the meaning of the word PARTY,  which was developed with the group, the teacher (in this case was me) was just a mediator in this activity.
Most of us teacher are afraid to leave aside the book, because of the Institution rules and parents complaints (English books in Brazil are too expensive, so that the Parents want the  whole book done!).

Not only teachers need to be aware that our Young Learners are more independent than years ago, but also the teachers need to make them think that learning a new langague is funny and interesting.

It was almost impossible 10 years ago in a classroom the use of cellphone and PC in some courses or school in Brazil, but today every single kid has a smartphone and tablet. So, we can not close our eyes for that: tecnology is our new tool to learn a language.

However, we are teaching teenagers and they have already known how to use Facebook tools and others, we have to explain them, the activity was created only for their classmates, it is not allowed others students to enroll and they accepted the activity rule.

Here is the facebook page that my group of teenagers created to learn about “Surprise Party“:

facebook2

The second activity was the Helping Class. As the same idea of Facebook platform in the previous activity,  we created a Group called “English Now 3”. The main idea of this group was to help students from all level 3 (basic level) to share their doubts, mistakes and difficulties in grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation.  It is a small gruop, with 10 teenagers that are sharing their ideas about learning and also have the opportunity to interact with different girls and boys from school.  The teacher is there to help them out and share hints for their tasks! Contents that are not related with the group is deleted.

Here is the English Now 3 facebook group:

facebook3

To Sum up, these ideas were developed within the intention of helping students to express and also learn english in a funny and also interactive way. We have to be open to this new digital era, Kids and Teenagers need to express what they are learning and social medias can contribute to develop in their learning process.

See you next time,

Priscila

image source: Teaching English – British Council.

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6 thoughts on “Facebook and Coursebook: It is possible to learn in social media.

  1. Pingback: Facebook and Coursebook: It is possible to learn in social media. | pmateini's Blog

  2. Hi Priscila!

    What a great idea and thank you so much for sharing! Let us know how it progresses, even thought it already looks very promising and the kids are pleased!

    Keep up the super work,
    Vicky

  3. What an interesting way to use FB events tool Priscila. I know it is not always possible to add digital tools in their classroom, but you are doing so fine with your ideas. I look forward to hearing more from your future classes and activities online.

    How are the students interacting and engaging in the language practice in the FB group for level 3?

    Regarding Mediating learning, It makes a lot more sense to me nowadays than facilitating it.

    Keep up the great work. You are such a devoted educator. I look forward to your next post.

    • Well, this idea was created because of them! In the begining of the semester I gave them my facebook page and said that they could interact with me sending their compositions and doubts. One of my students have sent many msn inbox to me asking about grammar and pronunciation, so I decided to create this group and now it has 7 or 8 students. Everyday they ask me something about english and also literature!!!
      And it was a way for them to practice writing skill, whatever they have a suggestion or doubt, they have to write in english and I have to point out what is wrong in their sentences and also I encourage them saying: Good work! Congrats! To keep them sending their msn. This is a nonstop work, I did this last semester (with e-mail not on facebook) and many students got good grades.
      The same time that they are learning, I am teaching. so It is so greatful.

      Thanks Rose!!!

      • So nice that you made it relevant by attending to the students interest.

        I wish in my context the students were pro-active like this. What I have noticed though is that digital tools work very well in the classroom, but they don’t have the interest of doing anything at home. (at least at first) This applies to any subject. In fact my students take the English course inside the school and I believe that has an effect on their way of seeing things, like it is an extension of the regular classes. Sometimes is even hard to get them in the right mood for English class. It is really challenging to train them to become language learners instead of being just language students, but like I said in my previous blogpost, it is rewarding when that happens.

        Thanks so much for sharing with us your context. It is valuable for me to learn about other teachers class experience.

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