Writing projects can be a great way to create motivation, as well as getting students used to using English in their day-to-day lives. Many students are already familiar with social media and publishing photos or writing to the internet. The benefits of a blog is that it is a real life application of the language and can be viewed by the teacher, classmates, as well as the rest of the world. Students can also comment on each other’s writing, which creates more interaction in target language, creates further motivation to continued makes it easy for suggestions or edits to be made.
You can separate the students into different groups who will write about specific themes or make up a story in which each student writes the next section of the story. With a service, such as WordPress or Blogspot, you just need an email address and password that all students can use to access the blog for free. It can be a short term or long term project.
Class or group story
Creating a story in a class can be a fun way of encouraging writing and it allows students to write from home. In pairs, groups or as a class you can map out the general theme of the story and decide who will write what, or just see how it unfolds naturally. Here is an example of how a story can be developed using a blog as a medium. Here is a fictional story about What’s Happening in Japan I’m writing with my friend, which is roughly 500 words per post. Students can have a shorter word limit though.
Another option is for every student to write their own individual stories, if they are at an appropriate level. It can be about anything, but it can be easier to set the story in the students’ life and make it about their fictional reactions and movements when a disaster or something major happens. For example:
- an earthquake
- zombie apocalypse
- a natural disaster
- winning a lot of money
- getting a call to audition for a band or idol group
Class or group blog
Alternatively you can make a blog that showcases something to do with their lives and may serve as an introduction to the country, the school or just a day in the life in that country.
Some examples using a Japanese school:
- Introducing Japanese school and student life to exchange students.
- Introducing the things they find interesting or unique about Japan.
- Give advice to tourists in Japan.
- Students research different aspects of another country/ countries and create an introduction or overview.