Can my class interview yours via Skype?

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Can my class interview yours via Skype?

Post by longshikong » Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:27 am

EDIT: I rewrote this thread which now also appears on the Keypals forum.

For many students of English, the only practice they get is with their classmates and their teacher. I want to give them plenty of opportunities to actually use their English to communicate with someone in real time--what learning English should be about! All too often, especially here in China, studying English is just studying and memorizing--nothing more.

I teach 3 groups of adults (2 beginner classes and 1 pre-intermediate class) here in China. I'd like to get them started using their language skills to communicate with students at the same level in other countries. I think if our 2 classes are both small and you and I plan what questions students will ask each other, it could prove mutually beneficial.

I know there are language exchange websites but I'm looking for class-to-class communication using one webcam and a large screen (potentially leading to multiple simultaneous one-to-one interviews if students bring their laptops). Starting this off as a class-to-class activity where we'll all know in advance what questions will be asked will and with our guidance, will ensure communication does occur. Personally, I can't think of a better use of interactive whiteboards in EFL classrooms than to talk to others around the world.

Native speakers won't have the incentive, the patience, nor the ability to lower their language to the level of our students which is all the more reason students should be talking to students. At worst, they'll experience first hand, the challenge a thick accent has on those not used to it which will only underscore the importance of pronunciation work and getting students used to listening to their own voice--something too few do and too few teachers facilitate.

The problem is in finding classes taught at similar times. So far, I'd like to try this with my adult classes. To convert the following times here in China (one time zone) to where you are, click here:
Beginner 1 (6 adults): Thu 18:30-20:00 / Sun 15:30-17:00
Beginner 2 (new class): TBA
Pre-Intermediate (2 adults): Wed/Fri 18:30 - 20:00
Note: China doesn't observe DST.

Surprisingly, I posted this on the General Discussions and Teachers' forums but only 2 people expressed interest in chatting with my students. I thought other teachers might be inclined to post their own class times. Is it because we teachers are too busy covering course content to provide meaningful contexts with which to use it?

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