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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

versão On-line ISSN 2224-7912
versão impressa ISSN 0041-4751


MIHAI, Maryke. Learners' experiences while blogging in an Afrikaans class. Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2017, vol.57, n.1, pp.205-221. ISSN 2224-7912.

The focus of this study was on blogging as one of the possible uses of the computer in an Afrikaans First Additional Language class, in order to improve integration between the learning areas in a school environment. It was a new experience for learners, the use of technology in an Afrikaans class being particularly unusual for them. Blogging had its inception in the 1990's and, like many trends that have been given life by rapidly evolving information technology, might have been expected to wane in usefulness and popularity. However, blogging is still going strong and has changed in the sense that it is not merely regarded as a casual platform for the expression of personal interests and opinions, but offers an easily accessible means for deep-thinking, informed and socially aware individuals to contribute significantly to the global body of knowledge about any particular topic. Such contributions are considered sufficiently serious and substantial to be listed under a blogger's work experience. In the classroom, blogging helps learners to build their writing skills and to gain their own voice. They become aware of correct writing styles and learn to express their own opinions lucidly in written format. They begin to write with an audience in mind and produce work that ispublishable, without the normal publication requirements. At the same time, they have access to many different resources and are made more aware of copyright issues, so that instances of plagiarism and copyright infringements by learners are significantly reduced. Blogging affords learners the opportunity to communicate through multimedia, thus enhancing the quality of the presentation of their work and motivating them to deliver their best. Furthermore, a classroom blog is not only an excellent way to keep parents in the loop about classroom activities, but also gives learners the chance to network globally with learners from other countries. The researcher wanted to determine how learners would handle frustration in a new situation, with the focus on the different components operating in a school environment: the frustration caused by the use of the technology, themselves, the rules they had to adhere to, the community they lived in: the teacher, other learners and parents or family. These components come into prominence when you take the activity theory into account. The learners had to reach certain outcomes, in this case good project marks and possible participation in a competition. Based on Maier and Ellen's 1956 frustration theory, the researcher assumed that the project would either motivate learners to obtain better marks, or cause aggression, regression, avoidance (withdrawal) or fixation. She conducted a qualitative, interpretive case study with 40 First Additional Language grade ten Afrikaans learners from a private independent school as participants. They had to do diary entries in a blog. Thereafter they had to write narrative essays about their experiences while completing the assignment. These essays were typed verbatim and analysed through Atlas.ti. Most learners' responses were positive, many were aggressive, a considerable percentage regressed to a normal written task, while some tried to avoid the problem as long as possible. No learners displayedfixation as a response. Many learners showed more than one possible response. Learners increased their frustration levels as a result of a lack of knowledge, forgetfulness, mistakes and a lack of time management. The fact that there were different expectations from different classes causedfrustration, as well as the fact that the parents and other learners had to comment on learners' work. Quite a number of learners experienced frustration as a result of the use of the blog itself. The most important conclusion is that this type of exercise should become a preferred way of teaching and learning, due to its educational value in shaping learners' minds and guiding teachers to see and do things differently in a technology driven society. Blogging promotes analytical and creative thinking and gives all learners in the class a voice.

Palavras-chave : Activity Theory; Blogs; Blogging; Blogger; Online Journal Entries; Online Diary; Frustration; Motivation; Aggression; Regression; Avoidance [withdrawal]; Qualitative; Interpretive Case Study.

        · resumo em Africaner     · texto em Africaner     · Africaner ( pdf )


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