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The speaker can be from anywhere in the world as long as they have internet connection and an internet-enabled device. Hook up with a class of a similar age in another English-speaking country or city and challenge students to guess where the other class is by asking questions: “What is your native language? It does not necessarily have to be an adult: children-to-children conversations can also be very productive and fun, particularly for older children who can also enjoy listening to different dialects.
Because the information is streaming on video, not purely voice, children can also learn a lot by observing what the other person is wearing, how they gesture when they speak, perhaps even set against an interesting background.
The person on the other end doesn’t even necessarily have to get out of their chair, offering endless opportunities to communicate with, and learn from, just about anyone, anywhere. Guest speakers for a class No matter how good a teacher is, a term’s lessons can always be enhanced and enlivened by guest speakers.
For example, you could ask a teacher of the same subject but a specialist in a particular aspect, or a leading authority on something, or a published author.
Perhaps we should embrace kids’ fixations with modern screens and use them to good advantage.
While they were not originally designed as educational tools, there are many creative ways to use video chatting software to help teach and stimulate our young.
Skype is best used from computer to computer (or tablet) across a Wi Fi network but has applications (‘apps’) on Windows, Mac, i OS, Android, and pretty much everything else and is useable across mobile networks.
Anyone can have a free Skype account, which allows them unlimited one-on-one video chat. There are also mobile-to-mobile ‘apps’ such as Face Time (all Apple products such as Mac and i Phone) and Google Hangouts (Android devices and PCs), all of which are free.
So, hook up a device to a screen in front of the whole class, or use the technology on a one-to-one basis between children or in child-to-adult scenarios.
You can even experiment with whole classes, each class speaking the language they are learning.
Or maybe enlist someone from business or industry to talk about how the subject applies ‘in the real world’. You could even allow them only to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ like the popular ‘Who am I? ” Once the location is guessed, encourage children to ask and answer questions about their perception of where they live. Learning a foreign language Hearing a language spoken by a native speaker is a fantastic way to learn a new language.
Unlike traditional videos and DVDs this is inexpensive and, most importantly, interactive: children can ask questions or make comments directly to the guest speaker. This idea is sure to create excitement and intrigue. ’ game, perhaps limiting them to a certain number of ‘no’ answers: “Are you in England? If you are a foreign language teacher, or your child is learning a foreign language, consider partnering with someone in a foreign country to have a chat with.