Saturday, 2 January 2010

Creative Twitter Hashtag Collaboration

Reading Doug Belshaw’s blog and following him and others on Twitter , I have discovered ways in which Twitter can be used for collaboration. Doug’s most impressive project was #movemeon, inviting educators on Twitter to share their pearls of wisdom and tips for developing quality teaching and learning and tag their “Tweets” with #movemeon so that they are easy to search for and collect.

The Result is an impressive free e-book that can be downloaded from here

Doug’s new “Hashtag project” is called #blogsilike and is described in Doug’s blog as follows

Consider the blogs you’ve come across in 2009 that you like.
Write about why you like them on your blog.
Tag your blog post blogsilike and publish it.
Link to your blog post on Twitter using the hashtag #blogsilike

My contribution 1:
I have really moved on from just reading Foreign Language-related blog to include a lot of good EFL blogs from people like Shelly Terrell , Karenne Sylvester, Nick Peachey (and other blogs of his linked to this one) and Burcu Akyol.

I have also found NING groups a great way to find out about new languages or tech-related blogs. My favourite sources include EFL Classroom 2.0 , Talkabout Primary MFL , The Educator’s PLN , Belt Free (private ning set up by Karenne Sylvester) and The Educators’ Royal Treatment.

Why do I like these blogs?
Because they make me look at my own practice from different perspectives, they inspire me to try new things and network with people from different educational backgrounds. They make me see The Big (WorldWide) Educational Picture a bit better...

My contribution 2:
· I would love to set up a similar projects for language teachers, liguists and other people with a general interest in languages. Could be called something like #mfltips
My preferred name would be “sharing world languages” but this is a bit... shorter!

The following could be included:
· Comments on why languages are important
· Words of the day, funny mistakes, examples of mistranslations
· Quotes
· Examples of situation when languages helped you
· Interesting visuals
· An idea/ a comment about something you are working on
· Anything else that you think would be useful/ interesting and that would fit into 140 characters! (remember though this is about sharing rather than asking questions)

Any takers?


Sam said...

Count me in :-)

Graham Davies said...

1. I was travelling with a group of colleagues in Hungary. As the only one in the group that had any knowledge of Hungarian, I was designated to buy the tickets for a short train excursion – no problem: basic transactional language. The train that we expected to arrive did not appear. I asked a porter when the train was expected – no problem in formulating the question and understanding the answer – but his answer did not make sense to me, as he appeared to be saying that it would be many hours before the next train arrived. It finally dawned on us (by comparing the station clocks with our watches) that this was the weekend in Hungary when the clocks went forward for summer time and we had missed the train. I went back to the ticket office to try to get a refund on the tickets. Somehow or other I managed to explain the situation using expressions such as “This train did not go”. Eventually, we found an English-speaking Hungarian ticket office clerk who sorted it all out for us. We got our refund. I was encouraged by this experience to keep working on my Hungarian. Transactional language is easy - until something goes wrong.

2. In the 1980s I spent many pleasurable holidays in Italy with my wife and two daughters. At the time I had decided to follow the BBC “Buongiorno Italia” course. I quickly reached the point where I felt fairly comfortable in using basic transactional language, so I put it to the test on our next holiday in Italy by ordering a meal in a restaurant for the four of us. The whole process went smoothly, with the waiter speaking clearly and slowly. When I had finished ordering, the waiter said in perfect English: “I like people who try. You can have half a litre of wine on the house.” The waiter had worked in a restaurant in England only a few miles from where we live. A side-note: Why, oh why, has the BBC stopped producing excellent TV language courses such as “Buongiorno Italia” and is now putting all its efforts into Web-based materials?

3. I was a student of German in the 1960s. As part of my university course I spent a period abroad at a German university. At the time I was by no means fluent in German, and always had to think carefully when constructing sentences with subordinate clauses in which the main verb fell at the end of the clause. I joined the university film club, watching German language films three times a week. Suddenly, after listening to many hours of spoken German, it seemed “normal” to me to put the verb at the end of the clause, and I began to utter complex sentences with confidence. The listening skill had transferred to the speaking skill, it seems. A breakthrough had been achieved, and I never looked back.

4. Brits often miss out on holiday bargains because they cannot speak the local language. My first skiing holiday was organised by a package tour operator. When I got to the hotel in Austria I discovered (I speak fluent German) that I could have got a discount on the room that I booked for my two teenage daughters and a discount on our ski passes, and I need not have paid supplements for a balcony and bath if I had booked direct with the hotel. The information relating to these discounts was published only in German in the hotel’s own brochures. Since then I have always booked direct with hotels in Austria.


Marisa said...

Hi Isabelle,

I've read your post and I've found your idea of the #fmltips really interesting.
I'd like to participate.

Sans problemes said...

Will be delighted to add some ideas

Agnes said...

Good idea but the scope is perhaps a little too broad.

(p.s. I wonder if Graham is making the point that sharing ideas in 140 characters may eliminate some interesting thoughts that require paragraphs instead?)

IC Jones said...

Thank you for all your comments and contributions.
The idea of using Twitter for this is to make it very concise and easy to access. Graham is using more than 140 characters but I am sure a couple of tweets could summarize the different stories. Maybe Twitter will be too short for some stories... then it could be my next project!!

Syd said...

Wow, thanks for this!

I'm new to this so blogs like this take us newbies in the right direction. :o)