My BA students' blogs

Hello all,

I finally started using blogs for my BA students' Essay Writing Class! It is a new experience for us all, so bear with us while we blunder thru, but I may add that I'm proud of the efforts my students have put in, and I hope you feel moved to visit several of their blogs and honor us with your comments. I'm sure they will be delighted to have visitors!

The URLs follow below (not all of them, but those who have already posted to their blogs; the rest will follow shortly, I hope). Hopefully, the English and typing mistakes will lessen after more experience, but since they are mostly new to typing (not to mention blogging!) and they are only sophomore students of English, I think they are doing pretty well. I should also mention that some of them have been guilty of plagiarism without knowing how serious an offense it is (they mostly think of it as sharing something worth sharing, and don't mean to abuse other people), but we're working on that, too. As a starter, I've taught them how they can add a link to the site they have 'picked up' the stuff from, so they can acknowledge using it.

Anyway, all comments/suggestions/etc. are most welcome, and please pass on the word to anyone you think might be interested.

Here goes then:

Looking forward to hearing from you on this! :-)

P.S. Bee wanted to know more about this class, so she could include info about it in the Dekita Exchange. (Thanks so much, Bee, and thanks also for commenting on my students' blogs; they were delighted!) Anyway, here goes: This is a class of sophomores of English Literature at Al-Zahra (aka Azzahra) University in Tehran, Iran. They are all girls, aged around 20-25, and the blogs are for their Essay Writing Class. They are only in their fourth term of English (as a foreign, not second language). The class will officially end the middle of June, but I don't know if they will continue blogging after May, since they will be busy getting ready for end-of-term finals, projects, etc.


Bee said…
Hi Susan!
Great to see your´re into blogging with your students. If you could please modify this post a little bit and include the location, ages, level and duration of the course I could include it on the Dekita exchange
Warm regards from Brazil,
mozhdeh said…
Dear Teacher,
I really thank you to help me to experience new things.Makin blog was really enjoyable for me.
Happy Norooz.
Nazanin Sharghi said…
Dear Dr.Marandi,
My weblog:
Marjann said…
Dear Dr. Marandi,

Thanks for fixing my blog !!!

It is really a great honor for me to have your words on my blog, so I won’t delete them.
Moreover, I had made the necessary changes, but as you know I can’t attend your classes for nearly 2 weeks, though I promised you to do all my best even if I am not in class.

Anyway, once again, thanks for being patient with me, and I wish you and your dear family a prosperous new year.

Warmest regards,
leilalandy said…
Hi, dear teacher I realy love you because of your attempt to make us knowledgale. I won't forget you .
Dearest ever,
Thank you for every little thing You`ve done for me.Just wanted to drop a line and let you know that to know you is to know a world for me . . .Nothing to depress you, only joys to surround you,many friends to love you,and God to bless you.These are my wishes for you...
Much love,
yusufebb said…
Atefeh said…
Dear young and active proffesor,
I am so proude to be in your wavy class.but the my most active pro I do not see any changes in your blogggggggggggggggggggggggggg.Why? are you so busy that you can not work on your green and alive blog?
Gladys Baya said…
What an interesting project, Susan!

Any way in which I might find out about the topics your students are writing about (apart from logging into each one, I mean)? Then I might refer my students so that they find someone to read according to their interests... They're not that keen on browsing (forget blogging!), but a couple of them will certainly going to post something if I can guide them more specifically.


dn said…
Hi Susan, and students! I'm responding here to several blogs I read, all of them in admirable English - Bravo! I "met" Susan (online) at a virtual conference I signed up for mistake a couple of months ago - and ended up learning a whole lot from Susan and her colleagues about incorporating IT in teaching. I see from the blogs that the students are enthused by the very idea - that's already a good start. What about assessment, though? Perhaps peer review, since everyone knows how much effort goes in to keeping up a blog.

(I apologize in advance for what turned out to be a long response. Don't read it if you don't have to.)

But aside from this, and yet dependent on it, this is a wonderful opportunity for me, an Israeli, to see how English is used to propound one's view, in a place supposed so different from my own world. But in the blogs I hear voices as individuals, which you can't get from TV or in the newspapers (sometimes on BBC), I see happy, smiling faces, like our own students. (Btw - half of our students are Muslim - Palestinian and Bedouin, mother tongue Arabic, and half Jewish, mother tongue Hebrew and Russian.)
Which set me thinking. If not for the Internet - and English - I could not have read your lovely blogs. Two wonderful mechanisms - but their success is mutually dependent. If not for English, the net would have succeeded regionally, as it flourishes today in each country, but it wouldn't be the World Wide Wobbly we all know and love. (And if not for Internet, English would probably be less of an international language).

My point is that English is the medium in which we meet, even if only as virtual actors. For some, in Israel and in Iran at least, it seems, English is often both the language of oppression, enmity and colonization, and at the same time also the language thru which to overcome repression - both from abroad and at home (via education, etc.). Those who are to become English teachers should be made conscious of this duality within English: it was once, and will always threaten to be, the language of priviledge, of a "superior" English-speaking world and a barbaric Other. The English language contains entire layers that come from and have shaped the world of western philosophy, of Christianity, and of a history of imperial expansion, all mbedded *in the language*. But on the other side, our knowledge of English makes us indispensible in conveying English to our clients, the students. Despite the resistance that English often raises, there remains an insecurity about English, That it is a vital part of functioning in the world, that motivates pupils, teachers, principals, parents, the Ministry... in a way that no other language manages to do. And then to this we add our local identity, in which English is a tool, much like the computer itself.

It is interesting for me, as teacher trainer, to see how you, the students, are learning English, overcoming the same sort of difficulties as our students face, often in very similar ways. I therefore particularly liked the attempt to teach Parsi - a sort of mini-lesson within a lesson, and was hoping for some audio, with Persian music!

I'd like my students to do what you're doing. Real coool. Keep up the good work.

Dr. Doron Narkiss

Chair of English Department, Kaye Academic College, Beer Sheva, Israel
Ale W said…
Dear Susan,
Thanks for sharing your work and your students' work with us. I will be inviting my CAE students to comment on your students's blogs soon if you think it is OK.

I am a firm believer that these intercultural activities go way beyond helping them to learn a language. I think they help them to become better citizens of the world.

A big hug from Argentina.

Alejandra Weser
Rosa said…
Congratulations Susan and Susan's students,

I'm goign to ask my students to read your blogs and write commnents. It will be an inspiration to read your entries about English literature, Iranian culture and traditions (Nowruz), etc. and in such good English! You can also visit their blogs and find something about their lives in Sydney.
Cheers, Rosa
aaron said…
Great job Susan! I hope my students will interact with yours.
aaron said…
Great job Susan! I hope my students will interact with yours.
Anonymous said…
Hi susan
Great job Susan.

Dude from Texas
Anonymous said…
Atefeh said…
Hello dear Dr.
totell you the truth ,I visited your friends' blog some but not all of them impressed me because of the technical subjects but allin all it was terrefic. Thank you for every thing.
atefeh said…
Hello dear doctor
I know you have lots of work to do but may I ask you check my posts in my new blog and leave some comments please. whenever you recieve this sos ,please answre my call.
Anonymous said…
Thank you!
Thank you!
Thank you!
Anonymous said…
you are unimaginably great.
Anonymous said…
Have I ever told you that...?
Dear Susan,

I hope it's not too late to say congratulations for you and your students for such a successful project. I hope you and I can work on a similar collaborative project for our students in the near future. Let's think of a way or some topics that are suitable for your Art and my Engineering & Petroleum classes.

Best of luck!
Anonymous said…
just wanted to say that how different ranks in society can change people's personalities!!!! Good job!!!
Anonymous said…
Dear Dr.Marandi
I looked at your blog. That was great. Thanks for your sharing such an experience with your students especially me!!

Best of luck,
Parisa Mehran
Friends said…
Dear Dr.Marandi
I guess we forgot telling you: is our blog
Happy new year
Hi DR Marandi
Our blog hasn't had much viewer yet, Can you plz air our link in your blog, Thanks a lot.
Anonymous said…
Dear Dr. Marandi,

It was a great job, indeed. Only one BIG flaw: as an Iranian-born Iranian I'm really sorry to read this sentence in your profile:"American-born Iranian ".
I cannot fully understand this but as an unnecessary show-off. Who knows? May be if your father was not in US - for whatever reason as education, sent by government, having enough money to spend, great talent, etc. -, you were not given birth there, so you couldn't very very unnecessarily cry out you were an "American-born Iranian ".
I have seen and even talked to you for a few minutes, but you really don't seem to be such a person. I'm sure that was an unintentional mistake to be corrected.

Wish you the best,

A PhD Student in Applied Linguistics, Tehran.
Essays Writing said…
Many institutions limit access to their online information. Making this information available will be an asset to all.

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