“EFL Blogging School for Regional Teachers"
March, 1 2016
The EFL Blogging School Project, Edition II was successfully implemented by American Councils Moldova and funded by the US Embassy to Moldova, aimed to engage 25 EFL educators who have limited or no access to professional opportunities in the area of integrating technologies in their classrooms.
This way, 25 participants from 18 regions of Moldova, namely Anenii Noi, Stefan Voda, Cantemir, Soroca, Donduseni, Causeni, Orhei, Criuleni, Floresti, Straseni, Edinet, Falesti, Telenesti, Riscani, Nisporeni, Calarasi, Basarabeasca, and Taraclia, were selected and trained on how to create and run a classroom or school blog in English. Among these, there were 2 Access Program teachers from Taraclia and Soroca.
All participants went through a three stage instructional process: face-to-face trainings, online mentoring (each participant worked independently online with the trainers and 10 native speaker mentors), and independent practice (the participants conducted their own trainings to share from their own experience).
For ensuring the quality of online instruction and collaboration, the EFL Blogging School Facebook page and a new project blog were created, linked to the first "EFL Blogging School" project blog. The project launched with the official Opening Ceremony on October 10, 2015, which initiated 25 beneficiaries in: the successful highlights of the first edition of "EFL Blogging School" project; the second project structure and timeline; the course requirement; the project syllabus; the project curriculum component; and online platforms developing students' reading and speaking skills.
To strengthen the knowledge the project participants acquired during 5 online instructive module, there were organized 19 Google Handouts on Air sessions with the trainers to offer more details and answers to the participants' questions regarding the studied content.
By the end of the project, all 25 participants created 25 following school or classroom blogs in English, which served as instructive tools in teaching English almost 600 students of all ages. Their blogs represent online portfolios to include students' sample work, lesson plans, teaching advice, and bibliography for students.
In collaboration with 10 native speaker mentors, currently Peace Corps Volunteers and Fulbright Scholars in Moldova, the project participants improved their blogs and integrated them into their English Language daily teaching.
The experience the teachers got during this 6-month project was disseminated through local and regional trainings, aimed to introduce almost 500 educators from 18 regions into the mastery of integrating blogs and online tools in the teaching process.
The "EFL Blogging School" project culminated with the ‘EFL Blogging School" Final Conference held in "B.P. Hasdeu" Public Library and American Councils Moldova office, Chisinau on February 27, 2016. The event gathered 150 EFL school and university educators, mentors, trainers, project participants and their students, willing to find out ways to integrate online tools in the teaching process.
After completing the project, the participants and trainers expressed their impressions through the following quotes:
Aliona Zlatov, Lyceum „M. Tarlev", Bascalia, Basarabeasca , project participant:
"This project gave me a great opportunity to evaluate myself, to improve my teaching abilities and to develop self-confidence to my students. It was a difficult period in my activity and a productive one as well. I have learnt how to use online resources easy, for free and how to relate them to each group particularity. I am extremely thankful for being part of this team. Thanks to Blogging School my lessons are much more creative, interactive and diverse. I am a good example for my colleagues, the most creative teacher for my students, and of course just a brave for myself (because I have finished it successfully).Thanks to my mentor Christiana, my students' motivation has raised enormously. She was like a Duracell battery for them. Now, they call me and speak to me in English, ask about her only in English and are very eager to see her again. As I said during the Final Conference- Blogging for me is like a "lady purse". It needs little space, it contains all the necessary things I need , and thanks to it I look fashionable and stylish.
For those who will read this message and will think about getting involve in this or not- just do it, you will not regret about anything."
Luminta Tiuliuliuc, "Mihai Eminescu" Lyceum, Edinet, project participant:
Maria Terzi, Access-Taraclia, "Olimpii Panov" Gymnasium, project participant:
Emma Matreniuc, Access Program, Edinet, project trainer: