Saturday, February 17, 2018

Skyping in ESL/EFL classes for real beginners? An experience among newcomers to Canada and Brazilian undergraduate students

Providing a variety of opportunities for my students to experience "real life" is one of my objectives in my classes.

As my ESL literacy and CLB 1* students have chosen to learn about "Looking for employment" in their needs assessment, we are learning various things in order to help them succeed in this area in Canada.

First, they learned how to read a job ad. Then, then they learned how to fill in a job application form. After that, they learned how to understand a job interview invitation call (even though they are not required to use the phone in English at this level, they have asked me to learn it, so we decided to try it.). Finally, they learned what to say in a job interview.

It is important to mention that for each goal, the students have skill-building activities before performing each task.

So, in order to provide my students with the opportunity to talk to various people and provide the undergraduate Brazilian students of the Teaching English as a Foreign Language program at Universidade Federal do Pará with the experience of talking with ESL learners in Canada, Professor Walkyria Magno e Silva and I decided to create a project so our students could interact using Skype.

On November 1, 2017 they had the first Skype meeting and it was a huge success! The students introduced themselves and said something they liked to do.

Each student's turn to speak was received with excitement and joy by all of the participants. The students clapped the hands and showed signs they liked the experience and were able to understand each other. Both Professor Walkyria and I felt the contentment of our students. We also got extremely happy to see each other! Juliana Ribeiro, a great volunteer in Brazil, was also in the classroom in order to provide support. She had been my student and it was great to see her too!

The experience helped my students use discourse markers such as "uh", "well", and "um" with confidence and naturally. I felt very proud of them and the interaction made my students so excited that one student asked me if we could have Skype conferences every day. :-)

You can see some pictures below:

The second meeting happened on November 8th, 2017. We changed the layout of our classroom so all the students could be seen in the video. The students talked about their favourite sports and free time activities. We could see that the students felt more confident and they interacted more.

You can see some moments here:


Do you provide your students with Skype conferences too? I would love to read your experiences!

*CLB 1 - Canadian Language Benchmark 1 - Canadian Language Benchmarks


Vinicius Alves said...

Hey Cintia,
That is a great practice that goes beyond teaching English. I believe that both sides could gain more confidence in their real life. Also, they can have a feeling of inclusion in the world and participate in community full of diversity. Congratulations!

Cintia Costa said...

Exactly! Thanks a million for your comment! :-)