On 17th May 2017, the English Language Unit conducted its final professional development meet for the spring semester. This seminar featured two tutors from ELU.
The first presentation under the theme of Action Research ‘The challenge in using blogs in the ESL classroom’ by Ms. Elnaz Valaei focused on the first phase of this research wherein students were required to produce writings for seven weeks on a blog platform. This was an independent activity with no interference from the tutor. The objective of this research was to find out if students could produce better writing in an environment that is free from any form of assessment. It was found that students could correct their peers’ writing only in vocabulary. The second phase of this research will probably be conducted with specific parameters from the tutor to understand if this could lead to better skills at writing and peer correction.
Mr. Nasser AlHattali under the themes of e-learning presented his paper on ‘Adapting Online Materials’. As the internet is a vast resource for teaching materials, it is important to choose the materials that can be both adapted and adopted according to students’ needs. Difficulty levels, activities for the materials, cultural appropriacy and the currency of the materials are some of the focus points to be considered when choosing online materials. The difference between the two was highlighted with practical examples. A checklist was also provided to validate that the online materials chosen are for the right audience. The session concluded with Q&A session.