Intercambio Virtual


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Conversations with native speakers present the second‐language learner with an incredible opportunity to practice and acquire a language. By using software programs such as Skype, students
can improve their language proficiency as well as have access to a new cultural experience beyond the borders of the classroom. This can be seen as the closest way to give the students a travel abroad experience using the advantages of technology.---Presented by Maria del Pilar Melgarejo-Acosta, Department of Spanish & Portuguese, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

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Intercambio Virtual

  1. 1. Intercambio Virtual : Using Skype in language conversation classes
  2. 2. What is Skype? <ul><li>Skype is a software application that allows users to communicate by both voice and more traditional instant messaging. Skype allows both calling a single user and conference calling. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free, while calls to both traditional landline telephones mobile phones can be made for a nominal fee using a debit-based user account system. </li></ul>
  3. 5. Skype Explained Visually <ul><li> </li></ul>
  4. 6. Skype as a pedagogical experience <ul><li>Using Skype in language classes can be seen as a intercultural exchange, an immersion experience that extends far beyond the bounds of a physical place. It allows reflection on oneself and others and encourages students to explore both individual and socially constructed understandings of cultural phenomena; most importantly, it ties culture and language. </li></ul>
  5. 7. <ul><li>The high success of language acquisition and motivation is a direct result of the one-on-one conversations students have with their global partners.  During the virtual exchanges, interaction provides comprehensible and modified input through negotiation of meaning to all students in the classroom.  It is impossible to achieve this type of dual immersion dynamic in a traditional language class.   Source: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  6. 8. <ul><li>Recent data shows that nearly twice as many students who participated in the exchanges showed a measurable increase in their level of oral proficiency when compared to the students in the context of a traditional classroom. </li></ul><ul><li>( Research was based on Michael Long’s Interaction hypothesis, a modified version of Krashen’s Input Hypothesis Theory. (Long argues that the negotiation of meaning through interactional conversation leads to language acquisition) Source: Virtual Immersion Communities </li></ul>
  7. 9. % of students Control Group Students in regular classroom (no language exchange lab sessions) Experimental Group Students participating in language exchange lab sessions level increase 33% 62% no level change 50% 38% level decrease 17% 0%
  8. 14. <ul><li>“ Both participants share a common learning goal and are committed to providing and receiving cultural insights and diverse global perspectives. Through reflections our students have documented how their belief system has been challenged dramatically. They have felt supported in embarking on a true exchange of ideas and beliefs, thus leading them to conclude that humans are more alike than different despite skin color, religion, language, and ethnic background.  In a safe, supported environment, with two willing parties and a common goal (to learn one another’s language), stereotypes were discovered and dismantled one conversation at a time.  The students become more engaged as companions and friends and are able to naturally leave labels and even national identity behind while offering key input to foster communication and creation with the language.”. Source: Virtual Immersion Communities </li></ul>
  9. 15. Other institutions… <ul><li>M.I.T. designed an intercultural project that makes use of Internet communication tools in order to develop students understanding of the values and attitudes embedded in a foreign culture. Initially designed for an intermediate French class, Cultura has now been developed in Russian, Spanish, and German and has been used at various levels and institutions across the United States, connecting learners in foreign language classes with students living in France, Germany, Mexico, Russia, and Spain. </li></ul><ul><li>Marquette University is implementing Skype as part of almost every level of their language courses (spanish, italian, german and others). Contact person: Colleen Coffey colleen.coffey@marquette.ed </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty members from different institutions like Brandeis and Brown University are developing this kind of project. </li></ul>
  10. 16. Recommendations… <ul><li>Try to avoid any technical problems (check audio, microphone, connection to the internet). Tell the students to confirm everything is working. </li></ul><ul><li>Time difference between countries/daylight savings time </li></ul><ul><li>Have a plan B </li></ul><ul><li>Students should have a specific task/homework for that day. They should be prepare for the conversation. Is your choice as an instructor to put emphasis in certain language aspects. </li></ul>
  11. 17. What the students say… <ul><li>“ I liked Skype because it was easy to use and it offered a way to communicate both verbally and visually using the webcam” </li></ul><ul><li>“ It makes you a more independent learner” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Skype was a fun way to talk and get to know people from other countries yet still learn spanish and achieve the course objectives” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Brought me out of my comfort level and helped me to speak and listen more fluently” </li></ul>
  12. 18. <ul><li> </li></ul>
  13. 19. Looking for a language exchange… <ul><li> </li></ul>
  14. 20. Some resources and articles… <ul><li>• Learner Use of Holistic Language Units , Task Based in SCMC Karina Collentine Entrepreneur June 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>• Eurocall Conference, Gandía , Spain 2009 Marta Gonzalez- Loret </li></ul><ul><li>• Media in Foreign Language Teaching and Learning Min Jung Jee </li></ul><ul><li>• Internet Mediated Intercultural Foreign Language Education Beth Bauer, Lynne de Benedette, Gilberte Furstenberg, Sabine Levet Shoggy Waryn </li></ul><ul><li>• Social Presence in SCMC Language Learning Yamada Masanori and Akahori Kanji </li></ul><ul><li>• Distance Language Learning via SCMC Text Chat Yoshiko Okuyama </li></ul><ul><li>• VOIM- Mediated Cooperative Tasks for English Learners George M Chinerrey , English Teaching Forum </li></ul><ul><li>Source: </li></ul>