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internet based activities

For general discussion between ESL teachers.

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Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 4:29 pm
Location: Peru

internet based activities

Unread postby guinevere63 » Fri Jun 23, 2006 5:01 pm

Hi, I'm an English teacher in Peru. I understand that classroom hours are not enough and that's why I always encourage my students to get extra information and practice on line. Considering students love using the internet and spending long hours at a computer (in Peru, private internet service is expensive, but internet public service is really cheap), I've been using the internet as a helpful assistant for the last 3 years, but until now, I've only focused on receptive activities, i.e. I give them links to webpages with prepared lessons and activities, or I post extra information on topics discussed in class for them to read. Now I would like to make the experience more interactive and more oriented towards developing their speaking skills. I would like to have them form on-line conversation groups or participate in forums, or establish correspondence with an e-pal. However, I am afraid of sending them to unsecure places, or of losing control of what they are saying and neglect accuracy. Who will be there to provide feedback? Does chatting really work? Has anybody used skype or any of those voice messaging systems? Can anybody recommend any other interactive online activities that have worked with their class? I'll really appreciate your suggestions.



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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:40 am
Location: Italy

Unread postby marchwind » Tue Jul 04, 2006 6:01 am

I see that no one has replied so I can suggest that YOU try one of the methods that you wrote about to verify its accuracy. I think that any time you have your students use the web for communication, you run the risk of inaccuracy ( they aren't communicating with native speakers and certainly not with teachers). You have to calculate the benefits againsts the costs. I would try a few of the methods myself to see just how good/bad they are :shock:

Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 4:29 pm
Location: Peru

autonomous learning and internet

Unread postby guinevere63 » Wed Jul 05, 2006 5:27 am

Thank you for your suggestion, marchwind. Actually, I tried entering one of this chatrooms myself, and haha, one of the users started to flirt with me. So, one of my conclusions was that I have to recommend that resource only to my adult students. The chatting itself went a little slow, but I guess it was due to the time, because there were not many people there. I also found an interesting report by a Brazilian teacher who conducted an e-pal project with her students, this is the address, just in case you want to read about her findings:
Well, I'll continue doing my research. Thank you for your time.


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chatting on-line

Unread postby eric_p_m » Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:49 pm

Dear Guinevere,

I have encountered the same problem and have hence stopped recommending my young students to visit open ESL chatrooms without being supervised by myself or their parents. Here, education about on-line sexual predators should be enough of a warning to students.

I have been providing a service for a few years now where anyone can come to my on-line school and talk to me while I am working on-line. I utilize SSL encryption and I try to make the experience as interactive as possible. I can also follow and monitor students' progress while they are on my web site. The secure environment installs a trust in my students that they don't find in open chatrooms and I find more and more return customers outside my classes.

I also have made virtual classrooms where I put them behind secure subdirectories in my on-line school which are password protected to eliminate the arrival of sexual predators and in general have the power to ban or suspend any visitor when I deem it necessary while teaching outside my own on-line school.

Feel free to visit me when I am working on-line.


Eric Paul Monroe

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