Readings: Egbert Ch. 2, Cummins Ch. 2, Richardson Ch. 3:
The concept of multiliteracies, as described here, refers to a broader definition and interpretation of literacy than simply reading and writing, book-based, linear forms of literacy. These multiliteracies include all literacy practices students may participate in, both in and out of school, such as storytelling, using new technology (computer-based), communicating in different languages, or engaging in other culturally enriching and/or mentally stimulating activities. This ties right in with Egbert's idea of authentic materials being something the student believes is authentic and something the students choose as useful to their own learning and to their lives outside of class. I agree to some extent, because students who choose what they work on would have to be motivated, but I also agree with Michael's point in class that that is not enough. I believe there is a balance between what the students want to know and need to know that we (teachers/facilitators) can provide so they stay challenged and continue to progress. I am motivated when I study what I like, but, even so, I can get easily bored because sometimes what I like is something I already know well. However, I am a big fan of student input, student surveys, etc., and I have seen the value of giving students some leeway in choosing a topic for discussion or for writing--they often produce more language, interact with each other more, and participate more enthusiastically, so there is definitely a good reason to use their input.
Blogs can add to this motivation level for the students--even in a classroom environment, the amount or type of unique input a blogger can add to his or her website is pretty much limitless. So, students may begin with a blog (like we are) by simply responding to an assignment, but may be inspired to read other blogs that may in turn inspire them to add to their blogs and create something truly individualized. The opportunity for blogs to draw out the individual personalities of the bloggers and also to join people together in their common ideas or interests is vast. It is hard to get onto the blogosphere without perusing at least a few other blogs. The more reading we do, the more we can expand our literacy, and that is absolutely true for our ELLs, too.
Creating this blog was easy; logging back in has been difficult every time. This has caused a little anxiety, because I think of the time I am wasting when I have too many other things to do. I hope this is a temporary kink in the system and not a recurring one. I am excited to begin blogging about ESL and am already trying to think of more applications for these great tools we are practicing with in class.