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Webheads chat logs are posted on the Internet to assist language learners with comprehension of our conversations and to strengthen our sense of community through shared familiarity with one another. All are welcome to join us, but your participation in our activities implies that you approve of our posting on the Internet interactions in which you take part. Please address any comments or concerns to Vance Stevens.

What students feel about
Writing for Webheads

Part 1: Preliminary reflections

In February 2000, Michael and I conceived of a plan to poll the class regarding what they liked and thought could be improved with Writing for Webheads. The plan had three parts:

Michael has produced a paper on his perception of Writing for Webheads at this point:

The following are responses to the first part of the survey ...

Valentin | Felix | Choi | Maggie | Ming | Denilson | Deden | Ying Lan | Moral

From Valentin, February 3, 2000

The things that are important to me from the e-class are:

- 1: It is not the usual way of learning English.

- 2: It is nicer than the usual methods of learning English.

- 3: It provides practical English. In the usual methods you can learn a lot of Grammar and other things. But, when you travel you find expressions that nobody taught you before. For example, expressions like to "get to second base" (from baseball but speaking about girls). They are useful expressions.

- 4: It is absolutely flexible on time.

- 5: You don't have to pass an exam. So, if the pupils are in the e-class it is just because they want to learn or they enjoy practicing English. It is nicer than when people just try passing the exams.

Congratulations for your work. It is really good.

From Felix, February 3, 2000

1) Getting to know different cultures using English as the base language

2) Write without fear of making mistakes.

From Choi, February 7, 2000

This is Choi. Here are my opinions that Michael asked for. I would like to list three the most useful things about this class.

1. Get correction on what I have written.

2. Ask any question regarding English and get help on it whenever I am in doubt.

3. No participating time limit.

With this opportunity, I would like to thank all the teachers, Vance, Michael & Maggie for your contribution. I am proud of being a member of the Webhead class. Good luck on your work.

From Maggie, February 7, 2000

Hi, this is Maggie. And here are my opinions:

1) Making friends with different teachers and students from different parts of the world.

2) Asking questions that I can't in my daily study.

3) Knowing customs of different countries.

I hope I can help you.Bye.

From Ming, February 16, 2000

Umm... I would like to learn how to create the sense of using correct words in sentences. It's a bit hard for non-native English speakers to choose the right word to use. Sometimes there is a cluster of words that look like they have the same meaning to me but actually they do not. Also, some vocabulary, slang, and idioms have changed their meaning nowadays, and we only know their old-fashioned meaning. For example: "groovy", has only been used in past years; "screw up" has already changed its meaning and does not have such a strong and bad connotation as before; in addition, whether "dude", "fellow" and "guy" are the same is also confusing to me.

Ah, one more thing, how to develop good writing habits and write more concise English are also important to me. That's all I want so far.

I think I am a little bit greedy, I want to master English and learn to do that from you excellent teachers as much as I possibly can. ^-^;;


From Denilson, February 16, 2000



Anyway I have learned a lot, I have made friends, and it's free.

I think our class is good, but each student needs to have interest and search for knowledge and practice what he learns...

It's a great opportunity to learn English without expending money.

Good luck in the conference guys!!!


From Deden, February 16, 2000

I think you are right Denilson. We don't have a method, a syllabus to follow, or exercises - and sometimes I don't know what I have to do in the mailing list.

On the positive side, I feel the same as Denilson wrote.

I hope Vance and all of our teachers can make some method to help us to learn English better.

I have to say thank you very much to all our teachers (Vance, Michael, and Maggi) who consider people like me who don't understand English and who are willing teach the English language without pay.

From Ying Lan, February 21, 2000

Hi Webheads:

Michael asked us "What do you find useful about the class?"

I really do not know how to answer it.

A little confusion of the question???

I am not sure what the question means.

Maybe Michael just wants to know what kind of benefits I get from the Webheads Class. Or he ask us to write what kind of useful method of studying English we hope the Webheads Class supplies us.

For the first one, I was shocked when I knew some had devoted their time to helping someone whom they didn't know to improve their English. I was curious about everything happened on Internet. I would love to study English but I always failed. I knew I had to find a good teacher to help me. But I can not go to study overseas and never meet any native English speaker in my life. So Studying English on Internet could be only one way for me.

The most useful of the Webheads Class is teachers could correct my story quickly. We could find a lot of English grammar books in bookstore, library and other websites. But only Maggi, Michael and Vance could give us response fast. That's our Webheads wonderful treasure. I can not find such good precious pearl in the world except Webheads.

"Practice makes perfect." is not only a sentence but also a truth. When Michael threw a writing topic, we had to think the topic in English. The more we write and the more we write better.

The great one is I got a lot of information about internet from you guys. The first I have to say "Thanks" to David Winet. Because David allowed me to join EFI (English for Internet), he also taught me how to surf on Internet. Then, he introduced me to Michael and Maggi. I met Vance occasionally at our virtual classroom in the Palace. It is fun and useful to know more new toys and tools on internet to help us to study English.

I am single and live with my parent. Most of my classmates married and have their own families. Except my family and officemates, I hardly talk to strangers. I don't think I am lonesome, but I am always alone in my life. When Vance said I was a regular volunteer to go our Sunday class, I was only smile and kept silence. To be honest, I just have no place to go on weekend. To know more people what they think is interested for me.

I have no idea for the last question " what kind of useful method of studying English we hope the Webheads Class supplies us."

Ying Lan

From Moral, February 23, 2000

Hi Webheads,

I just got back from a long trip to the Guizhou province the day before yesterday. I feel a little bit hard to catch up with you all. I'd now like to talk about why I am on the list and what I feel to benefit from it.

1. My writings can be corrected by the 3 native English speakers who are professional ESL teachers.

It is not easy to get any English teacher at least here. But we can make it at Webheads. We overcame the physical distance here.

2. It pushes me to learn English.

I don't use English in my everyday life. So I would fail to learn English constantly if I couldn't use it often.

3. Know people and things the world over.

It is interesting to use another language to share my thoughts with others. It is also my motivation to learn English here.

Good luck,


From Vance, February 24, 2000

I've been going over the responses to the questionnaire that Michael sent out, and I very much appreciate having so many. I think Michael and I can use this information to learn more about what we are doing and to tell others about Webheads at the conferences we attend.

I have just come from a conference in Abu Dhabi. I gave the very best presentation at the conference, I am sure. Thanks a lot Ming and Michael for being there. And Maggi and Felix also for offering to try and make it, but I know difficult it is to keep appointments at odd hours online.

I started my presentation by showing some of the tools we use. First I had Ming and Michael on ICQ and I was communicating with them on a big screen at the front of the room as the participants came in. Ming and Michael waited patiently while I told the participants what we were going to do. The audience didn't seem to want to go on the computers themselves at the start.

Next I joined Michael in the Palace. Kelli in Abu Dhabi tried to go there, but she couldn't get into that palace as a guest (Michael and I are registered Palace users). So I moved to the homestead chat page where Ming was waiting. Another participant had joined us there by that time. All this was taking place on the big screen at the front of the presentation room.

When I finally met Michael to his voice chat room, then everyone wanted to join in. Ming soon joined us there and wrote to us (she had no mic but she could hear us). Michael's voice came loud over the speakers, and one fellow in Abu Dhabi named Housein was particularly interested in what Michael was saying. Housain and Michael talked for some time with Ming typing on our big screen. While this was going on, I got Ming's and Michael's webheads pages up on some other computers in the room, and when Michael said he was from Adelaide, I showed them his Real Slideshow production, which you can find on his web page (follow the links to Adelaide).

People who attended were amazed at all this. They went away talking about it, asking how it was done. I had the answers on my online handout. Compared to the other presentations I personally saw at the conferences, we were stars of the show.

Our next presentation is at the annual TESOL conference in Vancouver in March. TESOL is normally attended by over 10,000 people. After that, Michael and I will present at an online conference in April.

I've set up the following networds to our webheads sites. Now you don't have to remember the complicated name for the site. Just use the netword.

To use a netword, visit and complete the url with a netword; for example,*webheads takes you to the webheads main page now at <More recently Netword introduced a system whereby every FREE netword has to be preceeded by an asterisk, thereby throwing off every netword previously created, at which point I ceased creating any new networds. I've corrected the ones below, though, by giving in most cases their correct urls, current as of Dec 2001.>

Here are the others:


webheads_textchat: = Vance's text chat room

webheads_voicechat: We currently use Yahoo Messenger, with its webcam capability

Finally, vance@tesol2000zu

http://www.netword.oom/*vance@tesol2000zu = My conference presentation "handout" at the Zayad University Tesol Arabia conference. (In fact, I never handed anything out.)

Thanks to all concerned for helping us make our class and our professional presentations a success.


Moral, February 24, 2000

Hi Vance, Congratulations on the great job you did. You three stars made all the difference.

Vance, February 24, 2000

It's actually star students that's kept us humble teachers going this past year and a half. Pat yourselves on the back.

Choi, February 25, 2000

Great job Vance, Ming and Michael. I am excited now as if I were there in the conference. I am very proud of being in this group.

Yaodong, February 19, 2003

Vance, my work online has been supported from friends/colleague worldwide,especially from you. I really appreciate your kindness and friendship. Thank you so very much.

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Last updated: February 21, 2003 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0