How do you use wikis in your ESL/EFL classroom? Please post your past experiences and future ideas.

Tags: EFL, ESL, e-learning, vocabulary, wikis, writing

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Digital Storyline

I created a "Digital Storyline" with my (adult) students last year on Wikidot:
http://wikiwoodsec.wikidot.com
It was a great success. In short, we created a fictitious school and local community, and even connected "for real" with some Italian learners.
Read more on the "About the Project" site and "Stages of Development".

Just started on another project this year too and I am interested in connecting to other groups of learners around the globe who would like to be incorporated into our fiction.
Hilbed,

Thank you for sharing. I would like to know more about your new idea. I have a group of Japanese 4,5,6 th graders.

Carol
Carol,

I haven't used wiki in this context but have used in many other ways. While I do like that it makes it very easy evolve the content collaboratively, and view previous versions etc, I also find that

1. They are boring to use ( :-) I think software should be more enjoyable)
2. They breakdown outside of simple content creation - so in terms of notifications, home work assignments, events, grades etc.. have more specialized software will help.

@Hildeb - your wiki BTW is more interesting that most i have seen :-)
Hello Alok,

Could you please share some of the more interesting software that you use? Thank you for your reply.

Carol
I have created a wiki to accompany my textbook. http://teachpuzzle11.pbworks.com/ You have to request access to view it.
Here are some of the wiki sites where you can begin making wiki pages with your students in the classroom. With a little time and patience you will have a wiki ready to go.

Do you need a demonstration on wikis? Check this out http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-make-a-wiki

Wikispaces for educators http://www.wikispaces.com/site/for/teachers
Wet Paint http://www.wetpaint.com/ (Just click on the GO and forget about the advertisements that take up most of the page)
PB Works http://secure.pbworks.com/academictour

If you have used any of these wikis, please share your thoughts and experiences.
Hi

I work in a private language academy in Spain and I currently have two wikis for upper intermediate level teens on pbworks and I´ve just created a new website on google sites for an exam class.

For my non-exam classes I use the wiki to embed embed and link to online projects and collaborative writing tasks. We also post class photos. Each student has a personal page that they can use as a blog and post information whenever they want. Unfortunately, this has been a bit slow off the ground as for about 3 weeks at the beginning of the year we had problems with the Internet connection so there has been a delay in getting the students to use it as well as I would have liked. Added to that, we have limited student resources and getting them to use the wiki at home has been less successful than I would have liked as we really needed to have spent more time in class working on the wiki to build up the students´ confidence. The students are really enthusiastic about types of projects I have planned and the wiki and I´m amazed to see teenagers attending private language classes after a day at school being so enthusiastic and motivated in the class. We´ve made an online quiz, some wordles to describe themselves and personal biographies. We´re just about to do a video project that will be posted on the wiki and a collaborative writing task.

For my First Certificate exam class, a mixture of teenagers and adults, I have created a website for collaborative writing tasks as well as a place for the adults to upload homework, check classwork and homework if they´ve missed a class due to work commitments. I´ve also included links to other useful websites and specific activities as additional practice if to help with general English skills.

This is my first year using Web 2.0 tools in the classroom and I´m experimenting with different ways of using it considering the limited student resources in my academy. We usually have 12 students per class, and a class set of 6 netbooks for the whole school (over a thousand students) so there is limited use for the students. I plan to do monthly projects with my students related to each unit of the book and the final project incorporates a little bit of everything studied in that unit. I´m hoping these activities will help students remember language they´ve learned and they can refer back to the projects before exams to help them revise.
If you are looking for some great resources tools and e-learning apps that will make your professional life a great deal easier check out my blog at www.edgalaxy.com with regular updates and lesson plans.
Hello Kevin,
Thank you for the very useful tips.

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