Dear Pionia and students,
I'm Olga Scheglova, an English teacher from Omsk, Siberia, Russia. I visited your presentation at CO2011 and really liked it.
I thought that if you are interested, we could have a joint project with our students. The idea of the project is crosscultural communication. It is an opportunity to practice their speaking and writing in English, to learn more about people from another country (some of them are studying Spanish at the moment) and to introduce more technology in their lives.
My students are 17-18 y.o., there are 14 of them, their English level is intermediate (Some have upper-intermediate, some have pre-intermediate). They started learning English at school and now they continue to become translators.
The project can be as following: we pair up the students, first thay exchange e-mails and discuss when it is convenient for them to meet online. Then every 2 weeks they have a topic/ a question they have to ask their foreign partner in skype. After each conversation they write a report in a blog/forum about what they have learned. Also they are encouraged to read and comment each other's reports. The final product can be a presentation "Now I know that in Venezuela/Russia..."
I wonder if the idea seems interesting to you. I'm looking forward to your answer.
Well, after considering the proposal.... Pio though this will be a great opportunity for her students to practice their English and meet new friends...all they will have to do it's to talk to their partner in Russia and tell him or her about our country.. Of course, they will report on their blogs the conversations and at the end of the trimester heir new Russian EFL students will be introduced to our class and the world..
It happened at the lab....
After this, Pio's students had a first meeting with some of the Russian EFL students in Skype... also they met Professor Scheglova. That happened in the lab, some of them didn't have a mic.. so we just wrote in the chat. It was exciting and fun. Pio's students were intrigued by what their Russian partners will be like, look like or sound like. That motivated them to stay focus on the task. And started asking questions.. natural questions.. not the grammar or content questions of the lesson but more natural and proper questions. They faced he technological issues and tried to be there buy helping each other.. we were new to skype... lol. But the experience was worthy and they didn't stop at not knowing how to use the tool properly.. Pio found a friend of her on line in skype..James P O'Reilly... and this person came to help.. He gave Pio and her students tips on how to use skype.. So, there they were having conversations about the technical issues and about getting to know each other both oral and in text.
Well, it was fun...next post .. Second Life ...