Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Two Skype Sessions with Azuchi

 Photo Courtesy of Azuchi Junior High School

Photo Courtesy of Azuchi Junior High School

“We fall, so we can learn how to pick ourselves up.”

At the very end of this semester, we had two Skype sessions again with Azuchi Junior High School, Shiga, Japan. Students from both countries were having fun talking about themselves, school life and hobbies during the video conferences.

Thanks to Ippei, Atsuko, and the ALT's help, we had a good time using English to present and interact with each other. Prior to today's sessions, we ran a test on audio and manipulated as many variables as possible. The hard work paid off today. The audio was not an issue most of the time. On top of that, these Japanese students worked hard creating some amazing posters to share Shiga, Lake Biwa, club activities, and so on. We admired their hard work for that. 

Two of my colleges, who can really identify with the value of putting students in an authentic environment like this, agreed on the sessions at such short notice. Their students made PowerPoint slides about self-introduction right after the final exam last week. The eighth-grade Dance Class were energetic and lively when showing off their dance moves. Students from Class 810 did a good job presenting with clear English pronunciation. They exchanged good-looking classmates with their Japanese counterparts.

I enjoyed watching the students try hard to communicate in English. It amused me when they asked interesting questions in a playful mood, like "Are there any handsome boys/beautiful girls?". My two colleagues thanked me for providing such an opportunity for their students to experience what it's like to talk with people outside of Taiwan. They both mentioned this can be part of our school's curriculum and are willing to have more sessions in the future, which is so encouraging and motivating for me to seek more potential chances with all of my international friends. 

Of course, both Taiwanese and Japanese students' English has a lot of room for improvement, including volume, eye contact, pronunciation, intonation, and so on.  However, the whole idea of Skype exchange sessions is that using the language to speak with foreign students motivates students' interest in learning because it is simply fun to do so. 

Photo Courtesy of Azuchi Junior High School

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