Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Connecting Brazilian Amazon and Winnipeg students - an experience

I believe we can practice English a lot by talking with people. That is why I have been putting my students in contact with people from many different countries since the year 2000.

My students have exchanged postcards, letters, emails and more recently they have been "Skyping" and "Facebook Messengering". Even though there are many challenges to make these projects work, the results are usually very positive because the students can practice and learn not only language, but culture as well.

One of the ideas I had was to ask my ESL students here in Winnipeg, Canada, to chat with undergraduate students in the Brazilian Amazon, where I come from. Professor Sadie Morhy kindly accepted the invitation to join the project. She is teaching English in Soure, a small city located in Marajo Island, in the mouth of the Amazon River..

My students used their smartphones and the wi-fi of our school but Sadie had to take her students to an Internet cafe because the university computer lab does not have enough computers for all the students.

Despite some challenges due to the slow internet connection and other issues, our students were able to chat and practice English.

Let me share some of my students' reflections about the experience:

"It was a great opportunity to practice speaking and listening. We will keep in touch."
"We built a bridge from winter to summer and got new friends."
"It is a pleasure to meet a new person."
"I could feel their tropical feeling."
"I am interested in knowing more about people from other countries."

All the students really enjoyed the experience and they hope they can continue with activities like this.

Sadie Morhy and her students

My students and me

I would like to thank my students, Professor Sadie Morhy and her students for the wonderful experience! Thanks a million! :-)

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