Friday, November 17, 2017

Two Skype Sessions with a Korean High School: Self-introduction and the Beauty of Taichung

For the very first time, we got to have two Skype sessions with a Korean junior high school this Tuesday and Friday. Students from both sides introduced themselves and talked about the beauty of Taichung and Seoul, complete with some follow-up questions regarding each other's presentations.

The Preparation
After that series of tasks aimed at scaffolding my students with five key elements to properly introduce any famous tourist spots in Taichung, my students finished the Post Task of two paragraph writing worksheets and made their English-speaking videos. The main idea is for them to be able to present a tourist spot in Taichung of their own choice.

The Two Sessions
So they did. I was glad most of them did a wonderful job creating their scripts and slides, especially with the second midterm around the corner. I was quite impressed by some of the students' performances because they articulated and came up with good follow-up questions. Also, thanks to the homeroom teacher's help, I got to make it happen by having their classes rescheduled to match my counterpart's.

Room for Improvement
First of all, the audio quality still left to be desired though it improved a bit at the second session. Those Korean students' voices were constantly breaking up. It hindered the students' comprehension of the presentations. Following that, many of the students from both sides were in a rush to finish their tasks and it appeared they just wanted to get off the hook as soon as possible. Without much intonation, their muffled voices made it even more difficult to make out what has been said, not to mention eye contact, posture, and confidence.

A Final Thought

These students from the International Cultural Exchange Club are only seventh graders. There will be plenty of opportunities for them to keep on learning and improving. The purpose of this club is to create an authentic environment for my students to use the language to communicate and get to learn more about different cultures.  

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