August retro–16–2008 e

And then there was my English/ESL blog which began at Sydney Boys High. You can see a 2004 remnant here:

engesl04

Those powerpoints are still available!

A Twist In My Story: He Made A Difference

09 AUG 2008

I happened on this while randomly surfing through BlogExplosion. It’s not a total waste of time, you know, as every now and again something of real interest comes along — a whole blog, or a particular post. I mentioned BlogExplosion in Around 500 Education blogs… last year; sadly, since then, the site has had its ups and downs, and this blog is no longer listed there, though two of my personal blogs are.

To the point though. A Twist In My Story: He Made A Difference comes from a 14-years-old named Ben in Malaysia. It’s about his new English teacher.

He at times can feel really low when entering my class because of the response we give him. I understand how it feels but sometimes I too get carried away talking and forget myself. Even though we give him all this crap, he continues teaching us with a whole new style which I find very creative and innovative. And I can proudly say that I have learn new things from him.

His lessons are never boring and doesn’t use the old textbook teaching style which intrigues me greatly. Always teaching with a bang and no two lessons are the same. He teaches us how to speak up, to be attentive, to be considerate, to write a Thesis statement, to respect and believes strongly that respect is earned not given. By not scolding us but teaching us, he wins hearts of students that which even money cannot buy. This is priceless.

Through the past month, I have changed my view on a number of things by his teachings. I have learned that to judge people based on first glance is wrong. Most people judge others in a matter of seconds and though first impressions matter, take time to know more about the person your judging. Even then, who are you to judge them.

I think this too is priceless. :) I really hope his teacher has been able to read it…

Nice one, Ben.

Eddy Avenue, October 2008

Top 100 Language Blogs – Lexiophiles

26 AUG 2008

I can’t say I was displeased when I received an email pointing to Top 100 Language Blogs – Lexiophilesbecause English/ESL has been listed there — at #75. I strongly recommend your browsing the list as some very interesting blogs may be found there.

Now that we have our very own Top 100 Blog List there are bound to be questions and opinions streaming in from all corners of the Internet. This article is a preemptive post to answer what we feel are the two biggest questions. Why we made the list, and how we made the list.

Why did we feel we needed to make a blog list?
The short answer is that we couldn’t find one. We were looking at different language blogs and talking about which our favorites were and why. To make our discussion more colorful we wanted to compare our favorites with a toplist. When we couldn’t find one, at least one that covered our category we decided to make one!

How did we make the list?
We sifted through some 300 blogs relating to language and learning. Each blog was looked over and ranked with a number of points. No system is perfect, but we based our ranking on objective values, which were assigned according to the blog’s content and features.

We identified three main categories: content, consistency and interactivity. We know that no ranking is 100% accurate and always somewhat subjective. Still, we feel that these three categories give a good overall view of how good a blog really is.

Content: No need to explain that the reader appreciates good content. This category took into account what type of content the blog featured. We looked for authored and original content, depth of postings, incorporation of multimedia (such as videos, pictures etc.) and reviews of online tools and websites.

Consistency: A blog is about sharing information in a fast and uncomplicated way. The articles are not like research papers you work months on. People want to read something new every time they visit a blog. Therefore, we looked at if the blog was active, and if so, how active. Frequent postings gave a higher score as well as the regularity of postings.

Interactivity: In our opinion a good blog is not a one-way street but involves the readers as well. The most observable feature is comments, but it doesn’t stop there: Can the user contact the blogger via a contact page, Facebook or similar? Can the user follow the blogger via Twitter or RSS-Feed or share the blog with others via a bookmark button? There are many neat functions that make a blog more interactive.

Thanks, people!

English staff room Sydney Boys High 2008

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