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WORLD WIDE AUDIENCE – CREATIVE WRITING ON THE NET
by Gavin Dudeney
Intermediate and above
2 x 45 minutes
· To revise and extend a wide variety of lexical and grammatical structures
· To provide practice in creative writing, group work, negotiation, etc.
http://www.ryman-novel.com and a worksheet
This is a Net-based novel for native English speakers. As such, it has plenty
of low-frequency items of vocabulary unfamiliar at this level. Either deal with it as you would
normally, or give learners a link to a good online dictionary.
It is important here, when working with students – AND before doing the first activity - to go through the structure of the site together – pointing out the basic navigation options and looking at how each character is structured:
• The person’s name • His/Her outward appearance (clothes, physical description, etc)
• His/Her inside information (job, lifestyle, etc) • What s/he is doing or thinking • His/Her relationship with other passengers in the carriage
Once this has been done – and everyone is comfortable with the notion, the worksheet below can be given out, and students can work through the 10 questions on the sheet.
Have your students do this first part, then go through it looking at the answers. They should have no problem with this as it is merely a case of following hyperlinks between characters. If you have more advanced students, consider making the task a little more demanding.
Should you not have access to computers connected to the Net you can – as a last resort – print out the fifteen characters involved, assign one to each student and have them go around the class asking each other general questions until they find the connections. This is, however, far more demanding and does reduce the impact of the novel considerably.
In part two, take a closer look at how each character is put together. The sections adopted by the author apply very nicely in an ELT context. Each character has a name and a number to identify him/her, then three sections giving more information about them.
These three sections have a lot of scope within the classroom, and can be exploited on many levels from simple lexical fields such as colours, clothes, physical descriptions, etc. to more complex grammatical issues such as past tenses and connectors.
Each student now works on his/her own to produce a character (if you have access to the Net, consider finding some photos of people to use). They should follow the same structure as the 253 site.
4. Lesson Two
Once they have created their character, get them into small groups to share what they have written.
At this point they should negotiate with the other people in their group and re-write parts of their characters in order to be able to link them with the other characters in the group. Repeat this activity in larger groups until all the characters in the class are linked in some way.
The final activity involves making a small version of the 253 story. This can be done in a low-tech manner, with students creating their final project as a wall poster, linking the characters with lines, or whatever. The high-tech way is to make them as a set of basic webpages and put them up on the Net on one of the free web hosting sites – this gives the students much more satisfaction and also the opportunity of showing their work to a much wider audience. Information on basic web design and web hosting issues can be found in Part C of Dudeney (2000).
A longer version of this article is available for download from http://www.dudeney.com/downloads/WorldWideAudience.rtf.
Dudeney, G. (2000). The Internet and The Language Classroom
. Cambridge: Cambridge
a novel for the Internet about London Underground in seven cars and a crash
253 is an interactive novel written for, and published on the Internet. There are seven tube
(underground train) carriages full of passengers whose lives are inter-related.
We’re going to look at car one. Work with a partner and see if you can find the answers to the following ten questions:
1. Where do you think Harry Migson and Lisa Jabokowski met? 2. Which passenger is wearing gold earrings? 3. Which company do Edward Gossart and Adele Driscoll work for? 4. Jason Luveridge went to a good school - which one?
5. What's wrong with Richard Tomlinson? Who shares his secret? 6. Who is a stand-up comic? What is her sister's name? 7. Who used to buy wine from Tony Mannocchi? 8. Who plays piano on a cross-channel ferry? Who works with him and what does he do? 9. Who hasn't got anywhere to live? 10. What's the connection between the driver and Ibrahim Gurer?
1. They both work in a market, 2. Deborah Payne, Passenger 3, 3. Lloyd’s Bank, 4. St.
Paul’s School, 5. He is very ill AND Tristan Sawyer, Passenger 235, 6. Danni Jarret, Passenger
27 AND Suze Morley, Passenger 99, 7. Maurice Hazlett, Passenger 31, 8. Douglas Higbee,
Passenger 11 AND Tony Colley – Magician, Passenger 18, 9. Justin Holmes, Passenger 21, 10.
They are both Turkish
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