How it all startedOne of the teachers at our institute, Ms Verónica Maser, heard about Skype in the classroom and decided to join the community. She posted the project A Day in my Life so that her 1st Adol students could share experiences with peers from other countries. The response was amazing: in no time many teachers showed an interest in joining the project. As they teach Spanish as a foreign language, it was only natural that the project take the form of tandem learning, with each group of students taking turns to use their target language with their foreign counterparts.
Students taking part in the projectOur students are in their teens and are just starting their study of English as a foreign language. The native speakers of English are in the same age band and have mostly a beginner level of Spanish.
The teachers involved in the project started email and skype communication to set the ball rolling. A wiki was used for students to start getting to know each other. They produced wonderful posters using tools like Glogster, Wallwisher and Voicethread. Here are some examples:
- Laura Sexton-North Carolina, USA
- Sapulpa Middle School-Oklahoma,USA
- Laurie Clement - Canada
- Instituto Oxford Rosario
- Our Voicethread
Finally, it was time for the teachers to arrange the date and time of the Skype sessions. Being in different time zones meant that the students would have to stay on after the class or go to school earlier. However, the students were so excited about the possibility of talking to and seeing their new friends live, that they themselves volunteered to do so.
Here are the videos of the first Skype session:
This was an incredibly fulfilling experience for everyone. The students were fascinated about actually being able to communicate with others in the foreign language. The whole process of preparing for and attending the session made their learning experience meaningful, enriching and enjoyable in many different senses and, at the end of the session, there was a shared feeling of wanting to repeat it.
Second Skype MeetingThis time with different groups of students at both ends. Here are some photos. Videos coming soon.