TESOL CALL Interest Session
Academic Session

Event #: 4691

Thursday, March 16, 2006, in Tampa, Florida, USA
Marriott Grand - Salon A - 8:30 - 11:15 AM - (13:30 - 16:15 GMT)

Mobile Technology, Teaching ESOL on the Fly

Organized by Steven Sharp
Prince George's County Public Schools, Adelphi, Maryland, USA

 

Easy Technologies to Teach and Learn EFL/ESL Across Different Cultures

(9:05 - 9:40 AM EST - 14:05-14:40 GMT)
Presenter: Buthaina Al Othman Language Center, Kuwait University
Guest-Presenter: Barbara Sawhill Oberlin College - ILC
Webcast Host Jeff Lebow WorldBridges

Abstract


Informal, collaborative online learning settings can result in effective learning and teaching environments for Language classrooms. Some of the free, simple, easy technologies available for all users of the Internet can help language teachers and learners achieve this kind of learning atmosphere. These technologies include Skype, a telephony program, a new method of webcasting developed and hosted by WorldBridges, a network of homegrown webcasting, videoblogging by blip.tv, and SMS, MMS, GPRS WAP through cell-phones.

This presentation describes a few of the possible ways these technologies were successfully used, recently in collaborative cross-cultural teacher-student projects for English as a Foreign Language, (EFL) students in Argentina and Kuwait, and for Arabic as a Foreign Language, (AFL) class in USA.

First, the presenter will talk about the skype WorldBridges project, organized by Rita Zeinstejer, Cambridge Oral Examiner for CAE, (ARCI) Rosario, Argentina and Buthaina Al-Othman, for their EFL students, in August 2005. A portal webpage was created for the 2-week blended, asynchronous and synchronous, interaction program: http://alothman-b.tripod.com/skypeproject_portal.htm , including listening, writing, and speaking activities, in addition to the new method of webcasts hosted by WordlBridges for the final students' activities. Other social software were integrated to enhance networking and flexible asynchronous communications between the participants, such as a class blog by blogger.com, and flickr that enabled the posting of photos to the collective blog. The photos were related to the main topics included in the discussions, like geographical places, religions, music, entertainment places for teenagers, and other relevant cultural customs.

Second, the presenter will introduce another innovative way of Arabic Language learning, through SkypedConversations, and videoblogging. The presenter will invite her guest, Barbara Sawhill, director of the International Learning Center (ILC), to talk about this project she organized through a number of skype conference calls between the Oberlin students who are studying Arabic with Assistant Professor of French Ali Yedes, a native speaker of Arabic, and Al-Othman, also a native speaker of Arabic. Yedes and his students are also invited to this presentation to talk about their cross-cultural, collaborative learning experience.

Finally, the presenters will share some tips and tricks on some of the ways she has been using cell-phones with her EFL and ESP classes, English for Science and English for Engineering & Petroleum, at Kuwait University. She will explain how this portable technology has worked as JIT tools to enhance/support teaching and learning situations inside and outside her ESP classroom. The technology of SMS and MMS were used for reducing local "digital divide" outside the classroom, and for vocabulary learning and quizzes. Students' cell-phone cameras and photoblogs, by buzznet.com were utilized to do grammar activities inside a c-lab. GPRS WAP technology was activated to connect students' laptops to the Internet through Infrared port, during term final group-presentations to show the collaborative work published on their blogs.

 

Target Audience:
Language teachers interested in implementing IT and project-based approach in their classrooms.

URLs of materials associated with this presentation:

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