Author Topic: Extensively Reading Social Media  (Read 742 times)

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Offline Nathaniel Anleitner

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Extensively Reading Social Media
« on: May 02, 2017, 01:37:37 AM »
I was thinking about how to engage students in extensive reading when I realized that there is a large volume of content being produced on the Internet on nearly every topic, and probably in nearly every register as well. Sites like Reddit, Facebook, etc. have large communities that write and interact in the English language, and are an easy way for L2 learners to utilize the language.

What if we treated time spent reading on the internet like extensive reading? Perhaps we could ask our students to keep a log of something interesting they found on a website, writing how it engaged them. Perhaps we could ask them to try and respond or comment somewhere on the internet and write about that experience as well.

I feel like this could help engage students and build confidence in the use of the second language. However, I would be worried students might not be able to find material worth their time, they might learn a word inappropriate for certain contexts, and especially that they might accidentally find themselves in a hostile neck of the Internet-woods, giving them a bad experience and getting in the ways of our intended goals (engaging and building confidence).

What do you all think?

Offline Olivia

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Re: Extensively Reading Social Media
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2017, 10:55:06 AM »
This is a great idea and I could totally see it working for older students at a higher level. The problem I see with it is content. There is a lot of bad content on the internet. Whether it be incorrect/misleading, inappropriate, hard to understand etc. This can create problems and confuse students. I would not recommend doing this for younger students at a lower level, especially if you just tell them "go at it, find something on there", you would need to carefully curate things and sited that you want them to draw content from.
Overall though, I like this idea!