Using Skype for classroom and student interaction
Here are my questions:
1. Have you connected your second language class with a class of native speakers of that language?
2. If you made a connection (question 1), then did you use Skype? Or what methods of communication did the students use with the students in the other class?
3. How did you connect with the other teacher(s)? Are there ways for teachers to connect that could handle large volumes of teachers?
4. Will Skype use by second language classes quickly ramp up in popularity? What are the obstacles to that happening?
Following is more info about my questions.
Second language learners would benefit greatly from more opportunities to speak to native speakers, particularly if the native speakers are the same age as the second language learners.
Skype allows these opportunities. However, it isn't easy for second language teachers to make the necessary connections. There are a couple of websites, but they don't have many teachers on them, so it's quite likely your request will get no responses. Here are the two main websites I am aware of:
I would like to make it easier for second language teachers to connect their classes with native speakers. For example, an anglophone class learning French could connect with a francophone class learning English. The francophone class would help the anglophone class improve their French and the anglophone class would help the francophone class improve their English.
The more we can get our students speaking, the faster they will learn and the more comfortable they will be. Also, what could be more exciting than communicating with students their own age in another country?
The Quadblogging.net site has connected over 400 classes in the past couple of months. I'd like to see a similar site for second language teachers that attracts large numbers of teachers and makes it easy for them to connect.
The interactions might start with a classroom to classroom Skype. It might continue with groups of two or three students Skyping with small groups from the other class. It could include writing letters, working on projects together, etc.