Thursday, August 24, 2006

Otago Polytechnic School of Languages

My class has recently begun to explore the possibility of using online resources to improve their English and to make contacts with other (English) Language learners.

Below I've listed their names and the addresses of their blogs. Blogging is new for them (and for their teacher to some extent!) but already we're having fun and developing confidence.

Samantha (not yet functional)
Eun Sook

Mami is my Japanese wife, and she is doing a PhD)
(Rekha no longer in class
(Bee no longer in class

Bee (your 'Bee', not ours) made a comment on this blog recently, and that led me to From what I've seen, that website would appear to be the ideal forum for us to participate in. This afternoon, then, in my own time, after having had my regular 10-kilometre run, I am trying to set that up.

There are 15 students in my class, from a variety of backgrounds (Cambodia, China, Bulgaria, India, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Afghanistan) and ages (20 to 60). We live in Dunedin, New Zealand. My students are all/mostly permanent residents, and their level of English ranges from lower to upper intermediate.

Our course runs the full academic year, but students may enrol on a semester or even term by term basis. Some are full time (9-12) + (1-3) from Monday to Friday, and some are part-time (mornings only, Mon-Thurs).

Our school has a wonderful atmosphere with a community feel to it, but we are soon about to move and merge with the 'main campus' at Otago Polytechnic. Everyone is a little nervous about that. In addition, the organisation of our school is also being looked at with a view to making it more "financially viable".

Today George asked me what the term 'positive mental approach' meant. His neighbour had told him that he - George - had it. I told him that it was that quality which all of us will need to cultivate!


Leigh Blackall said...

fantastic W! I am just amazed at how quickly and how far you are taking this! I can't keep up!! I hope you are finding a bit of a network William, and I really hope your students do too.

alexanderhayes said...

....a truly inspirational blog. This is the sort of thing that makes my day :-)

alexanderhayes said...

A truly insprational blog. This makes my day :-)

Nina Liakos said...

I teach ESL to (mostly) young adults at the U. of Maryland in the USA. My students, at the intermediate level, have blogs which they post to 2-3 times a week. I plan to encourage them to visit your students' blogs and comment on them, and hope your students will do the same! Our class blog is at, and links to the students' blogs are in the sidebar.

Nina Liakos said...

Hello, William! I am going to encourage my students here in Maryland (USA) to read and comment on your students' blogs, and I hope your students will reciprocate! Our class blog is at
By the way, the link to Jason's blog does not work. Is he still in the class?