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5. Conclusion

 

Our assignment was to give an English teacher some ideas or ways to organize an international English learning project. For this we have gone through the pedagogical and the technological aspects of language learning between students from different countries. We have come up with the following two solutions.

 

Dictionary

The end result for this project would be to have an online dictionary done together by students from both countries.

First of all the student would have to form a group that consists of 2 children from both countries. They would each choose 3 subjects to familiarize themselves with. After that the local students would meet and pick 3 objects to present out of the 6 they have between each other. The last phase is then to present the 3 objects online to their foreign counterparts who will also have to present their 3 objects. The object could be animals, plants, planets or something else that can be talked about in more detail.

The beginning of this project would be time consuming for the teacher who more or less needs to work with every child personally but the end result would be rewarding since the method incorporates collaboration and cooperation and also scaffolding not to mention learning English. So after teaching the children to use the technological tools and going through the basics of the method the project would run more smoothly and take less time from the teacher. The complexity of this teaching technic pays off with the diverse experience the pupils will get.

The technologies we recommend for this are Google Docs/Drive, Wordpress and Lingobee. The most reliable and multifuctional solution is in our opinion Google Drive since it allows simultaneous real-time editing and chatting.

 

E-pal

The second solution for the teacher is e-pal that is based on the pen-pal concept.  Again the first phase would be to prepare for the online conversation by picking a subject to talk about and practicing in class beforehand. After that the students would meet online and talk about their subject as much as they can in English. This all would go on with the assistance of the teacher if needed.

This solution puts more pressure on the student since the conversations are one-on-one. In case the conversation stops the teacher would have to help in getting it going again.

The technological tool that we recommend for e-pal is Skype since it offers text and video chat, stores conversations history in a server so the conversation can be continued from a different computer and it is rather bug free due to the high class work that has been done on the software. An old-school approach would be to use e-mail for the conversation but this would not develop the flow of speaking English and it would only develop the writing part not the speaking part which is probably more important in this international language learning.
 

Summary

The two solutions mentioned above are really time consuming for the teacher since they require devotion for each student separately. This is probably the biggest problem and a good path for further study.

On the other hand the amount and quality of experience and knowledge the students would receive from these projects is worth the while.

The technological tools for international English learning are available and free on the Internet and there should be no real obstacle in this matter. The quality and amount of broadband connections as well as computers and software will rise year-by-year. The methods will thereby also get easier to apply and also develop.

 

Presentation

Discuss & brainstorm