Italian newspaper reports: «Così insegno inglese con Facebook e twitter, in classe e da casa»

Writing a book

The Corriere della Sera (Italian pronunciation: [koˈrjere ˈdella ˈsera]; English: Evening Courier) is an Italian daily newspaper published in Milan, with an average daily circulation of 358,000 copies.[1] First published on 5 March 1876, Corriere della Sera is one of Italy’s oldest newspapers.

This is how I teach English using Facebook and Twitter i class and in school

The last weekend in July the Italian newspaper wrote about my class and how we work. Find article here, and their Facebook page here.  The article mentions that we wrote the boo together. (Connected Learners), and I am quoted saying how imoprtant it is to work with social media in school, since these are skills they will need later in life. Just like when the BBC article was translated into several European languages, see articles here: RSLN Youritworks, Vatan.Mola, Mediainfocus Balkan ,Euronics  Thumbs-up, it is interesting to Google translate the Italian article. Something is bound to get lost in translation. I have tried to read some of the commentaries and as far as I can understand the concerns are similar to what I experience in Norway.

Why changing the classroom will not work in our country

  1. There is no need, we have taught the same way for xx years and it works
  2. Students in our country are not disciplined and will use Facebook to write letters to their girlfriends. (boys only?)
  3. Our country does not provide money for computers/laptops making it hard to work like this.
  4. Can a Norwegian teach English (this one was on Facebook)
  5. Many teachers in our own country are already doing this (the same comments were made after the BBC Click report, I can only assume journalists don’t know enough about what is going on in their own country!)
  6. This is not an academic way to teach

Important distinctions

Twitter and Facebook are not important  tools in our class. It is just a way to communicate. If I were to chose, it is writing blogs that is the most important part of what we do. When writing blogs the students can share their thoughts, learning and ideas. They can comment on each others work in class, but also with students from different parts of the world. They can formulate interesting questions and they can get real answers back. Next year we will be working with American and British politics and I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can make of that. Hopefully we will find students in other countries who are willing to discuss important topics with us. I’m pleased that the Italian newspaper wrote about our classroom and are sharing the way we work. Hopefully the conversations and discussions will encourage a change in how students and teachers learn and teach in Italy! Change is always difficult and for some very hard, but it is necessary to change how we work in schools, to me hat is just the logical thing to do since everything else seems to be changing! Why not in schools? The most important questions to ask are; what kind of qualifications will our students need for future jobs, how can we teach them to find useful information online, and how can we help them become lifelong learners?

Are we discussing and answering these questions today?


  1. My ESL students have started blogging and we are focusing on becoming involved in global issues. This week they posted a comment on a global issue website using fotobabble. We are using SoundCloud tomorrow. Building ideas of having a global student voice and connecting with other students using their blog and other web 2 tools. Reading your comments about student blogs and change keep me positive about encouraging my students to blog. Thanks

  2. I have read a lot of articles about students blogging. I think it is a great way for them to share their ideas and experiences and for them to have fun. It means they can read people’s feedback and thoughts. I also think it can help them gain confidence, as they know they are putting their work on the internet where anyone can read it. It can help them connect with people from all around the world, and their blogs are also an interesting read! I believe it’s great that teaching like this is staying up to date with the modern world.

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