Session Title: Virtual Exchange Projects: Motivating teens to communicate

Your Name: Rosemere Bard

Work Title: English teacher

School or Organization Name: Escola Educacional Tecnica SATC - UDI the Language Center

Co-Presenter Name(s): Gemma Lunn

Area of the World from Which You Will Present: Brazil/England

Language in Which You Will Present: English

Target Audience(s): Teachers of Teens

Short Session Description:
Removing the walls of our classrooms through a virtual exchange project impacted our learners in so many ways, but especially by giving them a reason to communicate.
Full Session Description:
It is quite difficult to encourage monolingual groups in my context of teaching to communicate among themselves in English when they are children or teens. This year however with the advantage of having wifi connection in my classrooms, I thought I could use technology to remove the walls. But my first idea was to create ways for learners to connect through blogs and assyncronous interaction, and mainly through writing. I wasn't sure how to use the tools available to encourage oral communication as I wanted to make sure that everyone could participate orally and that would create the need to communicate and be understood as an effective way to learn and practise language, and that everyone would have a chance to interact. That was when Teacher Gemma Lunn's idea, at the time she was based in South Korea and also working with 9th graders sounded like a great opportunity to connect them with other learners. Through a Wiki, Gemma and I coordinated and worked at the planning stage with a focus on deadlines as Gemma was about to leave South Korea in (about) a couple of months, so time would have to be taken really seriously. Because of that though, I managed to bring it to the students in a way that together we worked on dates and the stages to produce the material to share. For my 14-year-old learners it wasn't just about practising English, it was also about understanding that English can be learned, practised and used to communicate with people all over the world through technology. It raised their interest in learning more about other cultures, but also increased their engagement in learning in the classroom and because of their engagement new projects have emerged.
 
Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:
 
The first project generated a discussion group on Facebook for teachers to get together and help each other. http://www.facebook.com/groups/437428236351723/
Another project I got involved with after the Virtual Exchange with Gemma Lunn: http://www.alienteachers.com/1/post/2013/04/creating-a-linked-class...
A reflection I wrote on my blog after the project: http://rosebardeltdiary.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/virtual-exchange-p...
A study on Computer Mediated Comunication by Alex Walsh: http://www.alienteachers.com/computer-mediated-communication.html
An article on Connecting classroom by John Pfordresher published on Kotesol Journal: http://koreatesol.org/sites/default/files/pdf_publications/TECv17n1...

“Tweet! Retweet! Share! Open the doors of your classroom and let your students learn from their international peers.” – Arjana Blazic interview to http://dailyedventures.com/index.php/2012/06/28/arjana-blazic/

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Great discussion and I'm looking froward to attending your presentation my dear Rose. I have two  classes of teens, they are about 13-14 years old. Teaching English to my teens often make me say " What should I do to make them interested in learning English,especially Speaking in English or communicate with others in English during the lesson". I really want to learn from you,dear. I've never tried using technology in my teens' classes. The project you've done with Gemma was so amazing. You rock!^^ Thank you.

Squid hugs,

Ika-Indonesia

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