Welcome to my blog!

The reason behind creating this blog is directly connected to the online course I am happy and proud to be part of now. I am honoured to be selected into the group of passionate and professional English language teachers who want to develop their skills and share their experiences. Building Teaching Skills through the Interactive Web offers a chance for me to go a huge step forward in my teaching journey.

Let this blog serve as a record of my attempts and efforts. Please feel free to comment on anything that is going to happen here.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Week 4 - Reading to Read and Writing to Write

This week has been a great trial for me... Apart from the challenging tasks connected with our course, I had some urgent problems to solve both at work and at home. Luckily, most of them are under control now, though I am still expecting several things to clear up in the near future.

What I mostly appreciate this course for is the fact that each day brings something new and I do not mean knowledge or skills only. Every day I reflect on certain issues referred to my present job, every day from a different perspective. Reflection is so powerful! This week there were two main areas of focus: supporting reading/writing skills with the use of the web and gathering data for our course project. This time I decided to begin with the latter.

Once again I presented my focus group, this time selecting the problem areas that might be dealt with with the help of the Internet. I believe it still needs further examination and more detailed analysis, though I am becoming more and more aware of the background I am working on. Realizing the actual situation with its strengths and weaknesses as well as opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis) constitutes the key to future success. So having the key which door shall I open first???

For many a student reading and writing pose a great problem when they are to be done in a foreign language. And the most common obstacle here is not the difficulty of the text but its length! Helping our students find their (individual) way of mastering the two skills is a long and gradual process. We usually have two little time in class to make them feel a sense of achievement in this respect. Therefore, supporting in-class activities with additional assignments often proves a good and reasonable solution. Taking advantage of the tools found in the web can greatly facilitate this. During this week we were suggested lots of useful websites to explore as well as techniques of applying them in the classroom. For me, this second point is very important since it is not always enough to have a tool at your disposal, but peer (and instructor of course) guidance frequently turns invaluable.

Therefore, finishing my post I would like to thank all those who passionately contribute to the great value and high level of this course. Thank you all!


  1. Hi Joanna

    I do hope you are well after what was an awful tragedy and loss to your country. If only we could answer the questions that surface at times such as these.

    Whenever, I view your profile it reminds me of one of my directors who works at the Nelson Mandela Foundation. She always includes in her speeches/addresses that her greatest honour is that she is a mother. It resonated with me as I also feel that this is one of my most sacred purposes on earth. I am pleased that being a mother means a lot to you too.

    I like your comment about the power of reflection. It has made me question what I am trying to do at my organisation closely and has forced me to place myself in the shoes of the teachers I support.

    I also like the uncluttered 'feel' of your blog.

    From strength to strength...keep well.


  2. Hi Joana,

    Being a mother is a full time job on its own. I can't imagine how do you manage your time, all I can say, keep it up.
    Thank you for commenting on my blog. Yes sometimes we fall into routine when we teach the same thing to different groups. Where I work (English Foundation Program), I teach one level (1, 2, 3, or 4) for one year (2 semesters), two groups each semester, I teach one group R&W and the other L&S. The second semester, I teach different groups but I repeat what I taught in the first semester. changaing levels keeps me stimulated and every year we make changes pilot new projects to try them the next year. the second semester is always easier than the first but like you said I get bored sometimes.



  3. Dear Joanna,

    I see you are like me - lots of reflection and analysis going on! Bravo for you that you can keep it all together and post by the deadline! I agree that we should reflect on all the issues to find the key to open the door to success for our students - but sometimes I feel that I over-analyze a situation. I get stuck in "inaction." This happens with lots of situations where I tend to take a lot of time in reflection, because I want to be sure that I've looked at the problem or issue from all the angles before I react. For my target students for our project, I kept thinking about issues, and it seemed that they were never-ending! Even for our blogs or for our discussion threads, I can read, think, read, think some more, read some more.... enjoying the ideas of my classmates and the analysis and my own reflection until I realize that the week has about ended and I haven't responded to any single post! All my interesting reflections and questions are still buzzing around in my head, but they don't make it to the paper, or should I say, virtual classroom space.

    Anyway, I felt drawn to your blog and I decided I just should say "HI" and say that I, too, am a wife and mother of two children. We are not "super-moms" or "super-teachers" or whatever, but we can successfully balance all the roles in our lives. You see? You're doing it today!