Reflections on EVO (2009 and later)

My first professional blog

Posts Tagged ‘evowriting09’

My wiki project

Posted by Mariel Amez on February 7, 2009

I mentioned earlier that I had started designing a wiki for FCE students to be used this year, as detailed in a post to Collaborative Writing.

One of the pages, which I called “Around the World”, includes 3 videos from

They are videos for the cities of Lagos, Nagasaki and Merida. My idea is that sts should first comment on the videos. The actual task is

Watch these videos made by students about their hometowns.
  •  Which of these cities would you like to visit? Why?  
  • Does any of these cities share features with Rosario?
 Tell us in the comments (try to use as much specific vocabulary as possible).

Then, they would write a script for our hometown collaboratively on a new wiki page. Depending on skill, time and tools available, this could develop into a video, or just be limited to a writing exercise.





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Wikis and EFL

Posted by Mariel Amez on February 5, 2009

I have made a posting in the Collaborative Writing blog including my views on this topic.

I have created a private wiki for my FCE class starting in March. I would appreciate your feedback, so if you can spare a minute, request access with reference to EVO09. Thanks in advance.

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Posted by Mariel Amez on January 31, 2009

I was interested in Yulia’s question in her blog “what is the first association that comes into your head when you see the word ‘Russia'”?

What ideas come to your mind when you hear someone comes from Argentina? I know several fellow countrypeople are around, so please abstain.

On a more general tone, how many different classes do you teach? How many actual f2f  teaching periods do you do a week?  Personally, I work in 3 different institutions. I teach EFL in exam courses (two classes, FCE and CPE) 9 hours a week, and Literature in English in 6 different courses, which amounts to 14 hours a week. I’m also an assistant to Phonology lessons, supervising pronunciation lab work mostly, for about 10 hours a week. That is all f2f: no office hours, no marking or preparation time included – which I do in the small hours or at weekends.

I would really like to hear from you.

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Posted by Mariel Amez on January 30, 2009

Three things about TEFL that I think really

I find TEFL both enriching and empowering. You need to know about every conceivable topic. You have to be alert for the subtlest nuance in meaning, for the latest addition to vocabulary, for the hottest turn of phrase in colloquialisms. Finally, you never stop learning about people and their culture. (50 words)

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Collaborative writing (Week Three)

Posted by Mariel Amez on January 30, 2009


I have to confess I have never used a blog with any of my classes.  My main concerns so far have been student privacy and the inability to upload documents.

Carla Arena’s article highlights the real-life nature of writing when it is done on a blog, as it involves writing for an audience and not just the teacher. However, as Graham Stanley points out, one of the dangers of blogging is that student interest may soon wane, unless frequent tasks are required from them.  Why RSS is crucial for a Blogging Classroom, suggested by Yulia , seems to be an area to explore seriously.

Another important advantage mentioned is to encourage interaction among classmates, including shy students. Again I believe the teacher’s role is crucial, as teenagers in some cultures may be reluctant to express their opinions on their classmates’ work: they may feel it affects their marks or the teacher’s perceptions on it.

A serious disadvantage is the difficulty to correct mentioned by Stanley. I feel – though I have no real experience of  it – that wikis may be more suitable for that purpose. On the other hand, if we are aiming for fluency, a learner blog  may be exceptional, and encourage responses to content rather than linguistic accuracy.

As regards photos, I suppose we should be extremely cautious with underage students.  I have found the following recommendations by Claudia Ceraso extremely useful.

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Collaborative writing (Week Two)

Posted by Mariel Amez on January 30, 2009

Word Processors in Collaborative Writing

Reading other people’s blog comments on the topic,  I feel they are conditioned by the diversity of realities they live. Whereas in many cases, computer literacy is not an issue, in others, computer access is extremely limited – let alone an Internet connection.

As Nadia & Veronica point out, many of the activities suggested in the articles are “pre-word processor” updates. Yet, they may come in very handy (or may be difficult to carry out) depending on the circumstances.

Another issue to take into account is the characteristics of the course being taught, eg number of meetings a week, school regulations in terms of “paper” work and number of individual assignments sts are expected to submit.

All in all, I believe it was very interesting to read about these techniques, which are very flexible in terms of implementation.

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