Blogging About Current Global Events in the EFL Writing Classroom: Effects on Skill Improvement, Global Awareness and Attitudes
A class blog was created and used as a supplement to in-class EFL writing instruction for freshman students. Topics that focused on current global events such as Ramadan in Islamic countries, the Tsunami in Japan, the Royal wedding, and refugees in Europe were posted by the instructor. The students were required to look for videos, photos or articles related to the assigned event and write a short paragraph (blog post) that describes the photo, summarizes the video and article content, or talk about the event in their own words. They also had to write their reaction to the event, and post comments and feedback on their classmates’ blog posts. The students worked on their blog posts individually, in pairs or small group. Comparisons of the posttest scores of students who blogged about current global events and those who used paper-and-pencil assignments on the same topics showed significant differences in writing improvement in favor of the blog group. In addition, students in the blog group had positive attitudes towards the blogging activity. They enjoyed interacting and collaborating with their classmates and reflecting on their own writing in response to the feedback and comments they received from other blog members. Blogging about current global events proved to be effective in raising students’ global awareness and enhancing their writing skills in EFL.