TEACHING FRIENDLY LETTER WRITING
Writing for Academic Purposes
ENGLISH EDUCATION PROGRAM
FACULTY OF TEACHERS TRAINING AND EDUCATION
BOGOR IBN KHALDUN UNIVERSITY
In the name of Allah, the beneficent and merciful, the writer is able to finish writing the paper entitled: Teaching Letter Writing through Blogs
This paper is submitted to fulfill one of the requirements for task of writing of English education program of Fkip Bogor, which the writer has brought into accomplisment for the formal study.
The writer realizes that paper is far from being perfect, it is because of her limited ability of knowledge, so she would welcome any idea, comments and criticism for sporting this paper. Although this paper is still less perfect, the writer hopes that it will be useful for those who read this paper.
Bogor, June 2010
Table of Content
Preface ..................................................................................................... ii
Table of Content ...................................................................................... iii
BAB I : Introduction ........................................................................... 1
BAB II : Theoretical Foundation .......................................................... 2
a. Teaching Friendly Letter Writing ...................................... 2
b. Definition of Blogs ............................................................ 3
c. The Writing Skill and Writing Friendly Letter in English
Teaching through Blogs .................................................... 4
BAB III : Finding Data .......................................................................... 6
a. Technology in Language Teaching .................................... 6
b. Using Blog in Teaching Friendly Letter Writing in the
Classroom ......................................................................... 7
BAB IV : Analysis ................................................................................. 9
a. Teaching Friendly Letter Writing Through Blogs .............. 9
b. Blogs in Language Teaching ............................................. 11
BAB V: Conclusion ................................................................................. 12
Bibliography ..................................................................................... 13
Writing is one of the four language skills that are very important for the students to know. Four language skills must be students to know in learning language are writing, speaking, listening and reading. In learning language, the students must be getting of best of those four language skills. In this paper, the writer will explain about writing skill. In development of modern world, English is wide of spread in every country. English as an international language is used in some sector especially trade, industry education, literature, culture, and so on. Recently the government has been trying to increase English as compulsory subject.
The English language that is very important to learn is not easy to teach at school. For both teachers and students must pay more attention to it in order to master more easily. In fact, most of the English teachers think that the students of senior high school have already got a basic knowledge of English since they have studied it at junior high school, in reality the students still find some difficulties to understand it. The expression above is clear that, there are some obstacles in teaching writing.
The writer has chosen the topics because she thinks that teaching letter writing through blogs will make the students easier to learn English, especially in learning writing. According to Gavin and Nicky (2007: 8) states that English, as an international language, is being used in technologically mediated context. Technology offers new ways for practicing language and assesing student‟s performance. Teaching writing through a technology can give motivation to students in improving their mind, imagination and writing ability. Therefore, the writer will try to entertain the students to learn writing with the method letter writing through blogs.
A. Teaching Friendly Letter Writing
Letter writing is essential skill that incorporates and builds upon many other language skills, with the right lessons that engage students and emphasize the practical. Letter writing can be source of learning and an opportunity for classroom fun. Letter writing can be fun, help children learn to compose written text, and provide handwriting practice and letters are valuable keepsakes. According to Herpinus, there are many kinds of letter in English: Friendly letter, family letter, letter of thanks, letters of congratulation, letters of introduction, letters of appology, letters of condolence, letters of love, business latter, letters of aplication and so on. Friendly letters are becoming outdated now because advancement of technology such as e-mail, blogs and instant messaging surround us. Nevertheles, to improving the students‟ ability in writing especially in learn friendly letter writing must be use a technonogy. Traditionally, a friendly letter would be hand writen and they sent by regular e-mail.
To make students easier in writing a letter, here are parts of friendly letter. There are a few differences from the business letter format. A friendly letter places the header, closing and signature on the right side of the paper. The salutation and body are aligned on the left margin. The body paragraphs should be indented and a space should be skipped in between each paragraph. Basicly, children to write letters from an early age, will improve their communication, social and handwriting skill, and teach them what they need to know about writing and structuring letter. One of the letters that easy to teach to children is friendly letter, because friendly letter writing just writes what they feeling and they doing.
Everything in writing is meaningful and relevant with students think and feel. This of course will be very important for the students who learn the English language. The students more interesting in learning if use media. In other hand, friendly letter writing in teaching writing can make students more interest in learning writing and improving their imagination to writing English. Writing letters encourages good social skills, learning to say thank you and asking for information politely.
B. Definition of Blogs
A blog is essentally a web page with regular diary or journal entries (Gavin and Nicky, 2007: 86). Blogs have certain features in common when applied to the classroom:
1. They can be set up and used by teachers and learners.
2. They can be used to connect learners to other communities of learners, for example to a class in another country.
3. The ideas and content can be generated and created by learners, either individually or collaboratively.
The most common type of blog is keep by one person, who will regularly post comments, thoughts, analyses, and experiences of dialy life, interesting links, jokes or any other form of content, to a web page. Blogs may consist of written text only, or they may include pictures or photos, photoblogs or even audio and video. Most blogs will allow reader to comment on blog entries, treby creating an online community around a common topic, interest or person. The blog was set up as part of an international exchange of information with students in other countries. Blogs used in education are known as edublogs.
An edublog can be set up and used by teacher, by individual learners or by a class. A teacher my decide to use a blog to provide their learners with news and comments on issues, extra reading practice or homework, a summary of a class for learners who were unable to attend, study tips, writing friendly letter and so on. In this case, learners will access and read, and possibly and comment to the blog outside the classroom or they will write letter to their friends.
There are some obvious advantages to using blogs in the classroom. They provide a „real-world‟ tool for learners with which to practice their written English, as well as a way of contacting learners from other parts of the world if the blog is used as part of an international exchange. Even if student or class blog is not shared with learners in other parts of the world, a blog publicly available on the internet. A simple blogs project that teachers use with learners of all level is to get students to set up their own student blogs, writing about themselves, letter to their friend, their interests, family, home, country, and so on, and including some photos. Doing this has several advantages of learners to produce their own blogs:
1. It allows you to become familiar the blog interface and how it works.
2. It shows your learners what a blog.
C. The Writing Skill and Writing Friendly Letter in English Teaching Through Blogs
Our task as English teacher is to think about how to give the students some practice in our teaching instructions. It means we should give them chance to improve their writing ability; so that they can expression their thought through writing, one of them is friendly letter writing and use high technology such as blogger.
The aim of teaching friendly letter writing is to make students easy to expression or improve their writing ability in English or to accelerate student‟s writing through an internet technology is blog. A media technology can give motivation and love enjoyable English in expression their thought in writing. A friendly letter may be informal or casual, but it is still good to follow certain guidelines in writing one. A friendly letter may be informal or casual, but it is still a letter. In addition, generally, letters should be clear, readable and organized. A readable letter can be scanned quickly to get the general idea of the message. It has simple and direct sentences organized into several concist paragraphs. Like business letters, a friendly letter is also divided into seven parts: heading, salutation, introduction, body, conclusion, closing and signature. From this part, teacher hopes students easier in writing a letter.
Writing activity needs variation especially, which are able to increase students‟ creativity. Therefore, teacher should more creative and be able to make interesting class for students and one of them is using internet technology like blog for writing activity. Friendly letter writing practice provides a useful change of focus from teacher to make easy in classroom interaction. Friendly letter writing through blog is an effective way to teach writing using a technology to the students. Previously, students are know only write with manually, that is writing hand or write with post card and send it through post office. At this time, teaching writing skill especially friendly letter writing using technology, that is blogs.
a. Technology in Language Teaching
According to Carolina Counts states that students will be writing a friendly letter to another class from around the world and posting to a weblog. Moreover, they will be using the internet for their project, especifically a weblogging site. Students will learn about another culture from around the word.
Technology in language teaching is not new. It is stated by Gavin and Nicky Technology has been around in language teaching for decades, one might disagree for centuries, if we classify the blackboard as a form of technology. Tape recorders, language laboratories and video have been in use since 1960 and 1970s, and are still used in classroom around the word (2007: 7). Blogs is one of technology at this time. With using blog in learning activity especially in writing activity, students can write a letter to their friends in another country or write about themselves and they know what blog is.
There are many reason of using technology in language teaching in the classroom:
1. Students are growing up with technology, and it is a natural and integrated part of their lives. For some students the use of technology is a way bring the outside world into classroom.
2. English, as an international language, is being used in technological mediated contexts.
3. Technology especially the internet, present students and teachers with new opportunities for authentic tasks and materials.
4. Technology is offered with published materials such as coursebooks and resource books for teachres.
5. Students increasingly expect language schools to integrate technology into teaching.
6. Technology offers new ways for practising language and assessing performance.
7. Technology is becoming increasingly mobile. It can be used not only in the classroom, lecture hall, computer room; it can also be used at home.
b. Using Blog in Teaching Friendly Letter Writing in the Classroom
The use of technology in the classroom does not replace using traditional materials such as a blackboard or whiteboard and a coursebook. Nevertheless, technology tools are used to complement and enhance regular classroom work or learning activity. Technology can be used to do complementary activities such as a data collection email project. The teacher can produce additional electronic materials to review coursebook material on the topic as a media in learning process. Using blog in teaching writing skill in the classroom does not easy thing because some school have not the technology like it. The purpose of teaching friendly letter writing is to create students easy to improve their writing skill in English or to speed up student‟s writing through an internet technology is blog. A media technology is able to provide motivation and enjoyable English in expression their thought in writing. A friendly letter may be informal, but it is still good to follow certain strategy in writing one. A friendly letter may be casual, but it is still a letter. Generally, letters should be clear, readable and organized. A readable letter can be scanned rapidly to get the idea of the message. It has easy and direct sentences prepared into more than a few consist of paragraphs.
How to teach writing by the most significant reason for teaching writing, of course, it is a basic language skill, just as important as speaking, listening, and reading. It is stated by Jeremy Harmer:
“Students need to know how to write a letter, how to put written reports together, how to reply to advertisement and increasingly, how to write using electronic media. They need to know some of writing‟s special conventions (punctuation, paragraph construction etc.) just as they need to know how to pronounce spoken English appropriately.”
Generally, teacher will try to get students writing in a number of common of everyday styles. These include writing postcard, letters of various kinds, writing narrative composition, reports, and magazine article etc. Especially, using a technology that easy to do by students, that is blog in teaching writing, for example friendly letter writing. Writing is appropriate for such learners. It can also be a quite reflective activity instead of rush and bother of interpersonal confronting each other communication. We cannot be sure, but it seems that the real process of writing helps us to learn as we go along.
a) Teaching Friendly Letter Writing through Blogs
It was explained that letter writing could be fun, help children learn to compose written text, and provide handwriting practice. Everyone has to write letters at some point. Letters of complaint, job applications, friendly letter, thank you letters, letters requesting changes or making suggestions and so on. Encouraging children to write letters from an early age will improve their communication, social and handwriting skills, and teach them what they need to know about writing and structuring letters. Friendly letters are becoming out-of-date now because progression of technology such as e-mail, blogs and instant messaging surround us. Nevertheles, to improving the students‟ ability in writing especially in learn friendly letter writing must be use a technonogy. Frequently, a friendly letter would be hand writen and they sent by regular e-mail.
Technology is more progress at this time, so teachers must be creative in teaching activity. Students will bore if their teacher teaches with explanation method without creativity. Usually students writing letter to their friends use handwriting, but because technology was progress at the time and many ways in writing through technology. On of them is writing through blogs. By using blog, students can write friendly letter and sent it to someone in another country. Besides, students can write letter to their friend, they also can write to their family. Remember, technology media will not be success if use the media unclear and students do not understand about it. Similar too many other aspects of English language teaching, the type of writing that get students to do will depend on their age, interest and level.
In general, teacher will try to get students writing in a number of general of everyday styles. These include writing postcard, letters of various kinds, filling in forms such as job application, writing narrative composition, reports, newspapers and magazine article and so on. Teachers may also want to have students write such text types as dialogues, play scripts, advertisement, or poems. Students write letters to a newspaper in response to a controversial article. They expand variety of headlines into newspaper article. They write/designs their own menus. They design posters for a party, play, or concert etc. In general, students should practice writing postcards, letters, forms, narratives, report and article as well as more tasks that are playful and studied four writing sequences.
Children are expected to learn how to write letters, notes and messages. They have to be aware of different styles of writing, the use of formal and informal letters, and to select style and vocabulary appropriate to the intended reader. Handwriting too is an essential element. Students‟ handwriting is required: To be legible Have a consistent size and spacing of letters Show flow and movement Show a confident personal style Thus letter writing exercises can fulfil two elements of the curriculum
Within the home, letter writing has many uses. It encourages good manners, especially writing 'thank you' letters Children can write invitations Children can write letters to friends and relatives Pen pals are always popular, giving insights into other children's lives, especially overseas.
b) Blogs in Language Teaching
Blogs used in education are known as edublog. An edublog can be set up and used by a teacher, by individual learners or by a class. A teacher may decide to use a blog provide their learners with news and comments on issues, extra reading practice or homework, online lonks, or summary of a class for learners who were unable to attend, study tips, and so on. In this case, learners will access and read, and possible add comments to, the blog ouside the classroom. Most blog will a llow reader to comment on blog entries, threby creating an online community around a common topic, interest or person. We can thus see why blogs are referred to as social software, as they set up informal grassroots links between blogs and writers of blogs.
In theory, anyone can read the blog, although only invited members can be given permission to add comments. One of the issues be in mind when setting up student or class blog is that of correction, how much help are learners given with their writen work? Learners to want their written work in a blog to be a accurate as possible, given that the blog is piblicly accessible, and the teacher needs to be prepared to give learners plenty of time for writing, reviewing, redrafting and checking postings before they are added to the blog. Asking learners to prepare the blog entries in a word processing program, beforehand, encouranging peer review of work in progress, for example in pairs, can help with this process.
The expression above is clear that, writing activity needs variation especially, which are able to increase students‟ creativity. Therefore, teacher should more creative and be able to make interesting class for students and one of them is using internet technology like blog for writing activity.
Based on the finding of the material the writer concluded:
1. Teaching friendly letter writing through blogs can help the students improve the writing ability.
2. Teaching writing through a technology can give motivation to students in improving their mind, imagination and writing ability.
3. Writing activity needs variation especially, which are able to increase students‟ creativity. Therefore, teacher should more creative and be able to make interesting class for students and one of them is using internet technology like blog for writing activity.
4. The aim of teaching friendly letter writing is to make students easy to expression or improve their writing ability in English or to accelerate student‟s writing through an internet technology is blog.
5. Teaching friendly letter through blogs will bring the students to be courageous in learning English writing through blogs.
Dudeney, Gavin and Hockly, Nicky. 2007. How to Teach English With Technology. Edinburgh Gate: Pearson Education Limited..
Harmer, Jeremy. 1998. How to Teach English. Boston: Longman.