1-to-1 Videoconferencing as an ESL Super-Tool: The Practice of Intercultural Language Exchange in the Classroom
The present paper presents a methodological description of an ongoing teaching collaboration between Applied English Department of The Southern University of Science and Technology in Taiwan and the English Department of Fuji Women’s University, in Japan. This program has achieved remarkable success in generating student enthusiasm, with concomitant improvement in speaking skills, through a specially structured experimental program in which students from each country have real-time face-to-face conversational interaction in the target language, English, to tackle specific topics with clear-cut grammar and vocabulary requirements. Student response has been phenomenal, with over 60% of students spontaneously engaging in additional extracurricular practice with their partners. The program features cultural exchange and language practice, with a weekly writing component, grammar, and vocabulary. Its highlight has been the transformation of moderate to low level students into aggressively enthusiastic learners. A formal, empirical analysis of the program’s results “Is Willingness to Communicate Associated with More Positive Online Chat Experiences?” written by Dr. Charles Mueller and myself, will be published in March, 2022 in the Japanese Association for English Teaching Journal,. The present paper is a pedagogical description and analysis of the techniques employed, with a focus on practice and student response. It is hoped that this material may prove useful for professional language teachers interested in having students engage in international video-teleconferencing.
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