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The Impact of Integrating Weblogs into an ESP Classroom

Abstract

Researchers have investigated the role of information technology (IT) in learning but there is a need for studies investigating the impact of Blogging distinctively. There are previous studies which support the use of technology in the classroom and researchers who are arguing the opposite by expressing their concerns related to technology integration into the curriculum. This paper attempts to explore the impact and effectiveness of using weblogs in universities, particularly in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) environment. The participants in this study were 25 second and third year Communication Sciences students attending ESP one and two courses. Qualitative and quantitative approaches were used for the data collection. Evidence was gathered in the form of student questionnaires, weblogs and teacher’s analysis and evaluation of the process. The findings indicate that ESP students would not use their blogs effectively unless they are monitored and motivated by their teacher. It can be suggested that blogs can be used as an educational tool in different ESP courses and not only with ESP for Communication Sciences because their usage enhances student-student and teacher-student interaction and promotes discussions. Moreover, using Blogs in the classroom proved to be a good opportunity to promote students’ self reflection, peer evaluation skills and also their critical thinking ability. Finally, weblogs encourage collaborative work; establish a rapport between the learners and the teacher, by building a learning community and enhancing learner autonomy

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