Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Blogging, EFL and young learners

A few months ago I set up a blog for my seven year old daughter. I did so for a number of reasons; first to teach her something fun about the internet and to allow her to feel comfortable using this technology (there is no way she's going to learn such skills at school, even when she gets older as they seem mired in the nineteenth century). Also I wanted to see if younger learners could handle this. Up till then most of my experience had been with teenager students and adults.

So check out Lydia's latest blog here.

I'm happy to report it is easier to teach the fundamentals of blogging and vlogging to seven year olds than it is seventeen year olds. I guess she hasn't learnt to be afraid of trying something new or making mistakes yet.

The problem with the education system here is that it does not tolerate error. Students are expected to master their subjects and make as few mistakes as possible. That sounds great in theory, however, the upshot of this approach is that creativity, experimentation and the like are penalised. Better the student recite five pages of his/her history book perfectly, than go off and produce some interesting project about the subject. Who cares if a week later they can't remember anything; the important thing is they got a good grade from the teacher.


Cheryl said...

Very insightful. We are moving to Thessaloniki this summer and I am wondering what the education system is like there. Our daughter is currently attending a Montessori here as I prefer this method of teaching. Does Lydia attend a public school?

By the way, my daughter (4 yrs old) likes Lydia's blog!

teacher dude said...

There is a Montessori school here in Thessaloniki, in Panorama, just outside the city. As far as the general quality of the schools, I can't say that I'm impressed. Too much rote learning and not enough investment in equipment and training.

But to answer your question yes, Lydia goes to a public school (the private ones are not much better than the state ones, they simply they're better at appealing to the prejudices of the parents).

david said...


I'm amazed by your daughter's blog. She has a lot of fun!

exskindiver said...

hi craig,
thanks to your comment responding to my daughter's comment, i just discovered that her blog could not be accessed through her comments...
we didn't know.
and no, we have not fixed the problem yet. but we will.

teacher dude said...

Try going to Dashboard then clicking on Settings and then clicking on the Comments tab. There you can choose who is allowed to comment.

With Lydia's blog all comments are emailed to me and then I choose to allow them to be posted.