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ERIC Number: EJ1095362
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2167-8715
Voices from the Field: Obtaining, Processing, and Constructing English: Blogging in the ESL Classroom
Smith, Glori H.
Journal of Media Literacy Education, v1 n1 p75-80 2009
To fully acculturate into society, English language learners (ELLs) need to be conversant with the language and culture of their peers. The National Association for Media Literacy (NAMLE) asserts that media, including the electronic media, are an integral component of modern culture and function as an agent of socialization. They assert that to be literate in the 21st century, students must learn to process their own meanings and construct their own media messages. NAMLE further argues that media education is essential for all who wish to become informed, engaged members of a democratic society (2009). If media literacy is a valuable--indeed essential--component of education for mainstream students, English language learners must also be given this learning opportunity. Schools and teachers should never deny ELLs the curriculum that they deem is important for others. The students will be immersed in the multimodalities of the new media throughout their lives; they need to learn how to use it and how to critically analyze it. Additionally, there are special considerations that make media literacy especially useful for someone learning English. The language barrier that prevents ease of communication is greatly alleviated by the visual, aural, and tactile nature of electronic media. This helps to make the language and the content very comprehensible (Lee 2006). The goal of this article is to briefly document ways that the author's students "obtained," "processed," and "constructed" English, terms taken from the standards published in 2006 by Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). These three skills are roughly equivalent to traditional reading, writing, and comprehension, but are more useful in describing the skills of the multiple literacies needed for the multimodalities of modern life. In this article, Glori Smith explains that while looking for ways to use new technology to draw her students into greater use of written language, she decided to try blogging to help her students become more proficient in English usage. The only thing unique about the assignments from the project she describes here is that students were online and made use of the multimodalities in today's media world. It is a new way to engage in the traditional skills of reading and writing and to demonstrate understanding. Smith writes that the "cool factor" of doing the assignments in a blogging format, seems to have made a difference, resulting in higher volume and more attention to quality than most other writing assignments.
National Association for Media Literacy Education. 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003. Tel: 888-775-2652; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Utah
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A