Sunday, February 13, 2011

Using Skype in the Second and Foreign Language Classroom

The first time I ever heard about skype was when a few of my college friends studied  abroad for a semester. We all got skype accounts so we could talk to each other as much as we wanted to without having to worry about calling cards or long distance charges. Not only could we talk constantly, but I was able to see what their rooms looked like and where they were staying. It was almost like I was able to get a first hand account of what they were learning over there.

I read an article on how useful skype can be in the classroom for foreign language classes. I found this article and decided to read it because of how positive my experience was with skype. The article discussed how the authors presented skype to an audience via elluminate which we are all familiar with! The authors went into lengthy detail on  how to use skype and what it can offer.They bullet point each feature and explain how to use it which is a great tutorial.

The authors than compare skype to elluminate which I would have never thought to do, I thought the two services offered many different options.Skype is though to be a lot less sophisticated than other technologies because it only allows a limited amount of people to interact at the same time. That feature is what I like about skype, it is a much easier to learn and personable technology to use.

The next subject the authors address is the anxiety that teachers may incur when it comes to trying a new form of technology. The authors solution to this problem is once the teachers do try and see how much they can accomplish with skype and how easy it is, that they will use it all the time. Once the initial step is taken the article believes that this will be the door to opportunity and that everyone will take advantage of it.

This was a great article to read if someone wants to learn about skype and is nervous to try it out in the classroom. I really loved reading the article because it shows you how successful technology can be in the classroom. They spoke about elluminate and other useful programs that teachers can take advantage of today. Learning second languages can be a really tough obstacle to overcome. There are an abundance of new rules that you need to learn to be able to apply the information that you learning. I am a learner that learns by observations and interactions. If my Spanish teacher in high school introduced us to a classroom in a Spanish speaking classroom, I would not only have been completely engaged, but I think I would have applied what my teacher taught me. When you can be that connected with the material you are learning you turn into a sponge! This article not only breaks skype down into steps and high lights the positive aspects of it, but it uses vocabulary that you can understand and relate to. I could follow the entire article with out feeling lost like I do with other articles. I believe that adds to the success of the article and to how many people will be able to relate to it as a result.

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