Saturday, March 29, 2008

Going to New York Tomorrow!



Tomorrow is the big day when I leave for New York! I feel bad for leaving my students for a whole week, but on the other hand, I’m really excited to get the chance to go to the largest conference of ESL teachers and researchers in the world. Hopefully, I’ll learn some cool teaching tricks I’ll be able to use with the students back home.

Basically, I am going to New York to do two presentations. The presentation that I am most excited about is the one that I am doing on blogs. I think that this going to be my last presentation on blogs for a while, so I really want to do a good job. I have been doing presentations on blogs for four years now. I can’t believe that I have been blogging for four years. That’s a lot of words. Anyway, for this presentation I continued with my blog survey that I have been doing for the last little while, and I analysed the vocabulary in the blogs my students did in the Fall 2007 semester.

The results from my vocabulary analysis were really interesting. I chose 10 students at random from last semester, and I then put them though a vocabulary profiling tool created by Dr. Tom Cobb (http://www.lextutor.ca/). The vocabulary profile told me how many of the words my students wrote were from the first 1000 most common words of English, the second 1000 most common words of English, the academic word list (570 word families – Coxhead, 2000), and words that aren’t on any of those lists. In order to see if there was any change in the way my students use vocabulary, I took approximately the first 500 words they wrote at the beginning of the semester, and I then compared that profile to approximately the last 500 words they wrote at the end of the semester. What was interesting was that 8 of the students showed that they were using a higher percentage of the academic word list at the end of the semester compared to the start of the semester (one student stayed the same, and one student used less). When I saw those results, I felt it confirmed my initial suspicion that blogs are a way for students to grow and consolidate their vocabulary over a semester. This is just a pilot study, and so far, I have only done a graphical analysis. The next step would be to run a statistical analysis to see if what happened with my students’ use of vocabulary is significant. However, in the meantime, I’m pretty impressed! Keep on blogging – it works!

I’ll report on the results of the survey in my next blog.

Wish me luck in NYC!

8 comments:

We will,we will rock U!! said...

Blog is amazing! I love to express what I think about into my blog and get solutions, comments, and relief from all the others. Anyway, Wish you luck in NYC !!!! hahaha

jⓞhn said...

enjoy the journey!!!!!!!!
Don't forget to bring some gifts for us~~~~

Helen said...

Enjoy it.
福 send your our Chinese luck!!!!

Jason said...

When I looked at the result of survey, I was so excited. Keep blogging! I hope you enjoy your trip.

Cheers

We will,we will rock U!! said...

No way John! Never on your own life!! Because that gift is the only one, and that's for me! hahahahaha (just kidding)

Natallia said...

Hi Scott! It's amazing that you can find enough time to read all our 45 blogs in order to enspire us to write more!
Thank you!

Hisham said...

good luck
have a nice trip

Yolanda said...

Have a good journey!! We'll miss you!!