SESSION 2B - Shared session
Part B
Debbie Navara
The Power of Blogging

The blog is perceived as a platform for reflective or personal writing and as a medium for ‘your unique voice’. Even though in recent years it has become widely popular, blogging as an interactive tool for Academic English language learning has not been sufficiently explored. This workshop is based on an action research project conducted in Australia with a high level (upper intermediate) class of international students. Blogging was incorporated into a 4-week program for academic Speaking and Writing skills’ development. Qualitative data were collected, including journal readings, news summaries, videos, recorded tasks and interviews. The key findings showed that far from being isolating, blogging was recognized as a cooperative, social interactive force to not only enhance and broaden students’ academic abilities, but also motivate and capture students’ imagination. Blogging created successful learning opportunities for material updates, interactive text construction and shared voices.  Building academic and social communities leaves endless possibilities for teachers and students. As Wenger (2000) states ' participating in these 'communities of practice’ is  essential to  our learning.  It is at  the  very  core  of  what  makes  us  human  beings  capable  of meaningful  knowing '.  Implications for teachers are discussed and practical activities will be presented.

Debbie Navara is currently teaching Academic English at UTS: Insearch and has taught for over 20 years across a wide range of programs both locally and overseas. Her career encompasses facilitation, online design, blended learning and meeting the needs of multiple stakeholders. Her wish is to build academic and social communities through Blogging and deliver the best learning outcomes for her students.