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.
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