Given the importance of improving fluency in speaking in second language students, a tandem project was carried out by the Language Centre of the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz (Germany) and the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature of the Università degli Studi di Parma (Italy). The goals also included the development of cross-cultural competence and reading skills, as the topics to be discussed during the online sessions were first tackled by reading texts which were easily accessible on the Moodle platform of the University of Mainz. Such topics were related to the recent history of Germany and Italy, the relationship between these countries and the bridging of the cultural divide through dialogue and mutual understanding. Each online session was centred on a particular aspect of the subject matter and included two phases: (1) a plenum discussion with all participants in the same virtual room, (2) small group discussions taking place simultaneously in separate breakout rooms. As a general rule, Italian-speaking learners of German had to speak German and vice-versa. The virtual meeting of students and teachers from Mainz and Parma was made possible by Adobe Connect, providing learners with the opportunity of an authentic language experience. The presentation will focus on the ways used to make this learning tandem more efficient compared to traditional tandem programs, where the role of the teacher is generally limited to the supply of the contact data, and possibly, the final assessment/evaluation of the objectives achieved. In our case, instead of just assigning tasks to be executed by students on their own, we kept an eye on the entire learning process, providing our guidance whenever necessary, though in a nonintrusive manner, so as to foster students’ autonomy in a rather informal learning environment. Our teaching role thus shifted to that of moderators and facilitators, who planned, coordinated and managed the learning experience step by step, i.e. checking all the time that everything was moving along as expected. The presentation will investigate this new role, which differs greatly from instructing students in person or lecturing them in a sort of one-way communication. Teaching (or better, moderating) together an interactive community of international students also means learning to interact with other teaching staff and figuring out the best strategies to use the tool chosen. While analysing the strengths and weaknesses of our experiences, we will give you some tips and tricks on how to profit most from Adobe Connect features for effective language learning through web conferencing in higher education.

How to use Adobe Connect for oral language practice in international virtual classes / Longhi, E; Angelini, Chiara. - STAMPA. - (2015), pp. 143-147. ((Intervento presentato al convegno ICT for Language Learning. Edition 8 tenutosi a Firenze nel 12-13 novembre 2015.

How to use Adobe Connect for oral language practice in international virtual classes

LONGHI E;
2015

Abstract

Given the importance of improving fluency in speaking in second language students, a tandem project was carried out by the Language Centre of the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz (Germany) and the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature of the Università degli Studi di Parma (Italy). The goals also included the development of cross-cultural competence and reading skills, as the topics to be discussed during the online sessions were first tackled by reading texts which were easily accessible on the Moodle platform of the University of Mainz. Such topics were related to the recent history of Germany and Italy, the relationship between these countries and the bridging of the cultural divide through dialogue and mutual understanding. Each online session was centred on a particular aspect of the subject matter and included two phases: (1) a plenum discussion with all participants in the same virtual room, (2) small group discussions taking place simultaneously in separate breakout rooms. As a general rule, Italian-speaking learners of German had to speak German and vice-versa. The virtual meeting of students and teachers from Mainz and Parma was made possible by Adobe Connect, providing learners with the opportunity of an authentic language experience. The presentation will focus on the ways used to make this learning tandem more efficient compared to traditional tandem programs, where the role of the teacher is generally limited to the supply of the contact data, and possibly, the final assessment/evaluation of the objectives achieved. In our case, instead of just assigning tasks to be executed by students on their own, we kept an eye on the entire learning process, providing our guidance whenever necessary, though in a nonintrusive manner, so as to foster students’ autonomy in a rather informal learning environment. Our teaching role thus shifted to that of moderators and facilitators, who planned, coordinated and managed the learning experience step by step, i.e. checking all the time that everything was moving along as expected. The presentation will investigate this new role, which differs greatly from instructing students in person or lecturing them in a sort of one-way communication. Teaching (or better, moderating) together an interactive community of international students also means learning to interact with other teaching staff and figuring out the best strategies to use the tool chosen. While analysing the strengths and weaknesses of our experiences, we will give you some tips and tricks on how to profit most from Adobe Connect features for effective language learning through web conferencing in higher education.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11381/2858606
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