Developing a Community in Online Language Learning

A presentation by Vance Stevens, Amideast UAE/MLI Project

TESOL Conference 2000, Vancouver

March 15, 2000, 9:30-10:15 a.m.

session #5365, Convention Center Room 3

Vance's website: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/4631/esl_home.htm
Email vstevens@emirates.net.ae

This handout is linked from http://www.netword.com/vance@tesol2000

This handout and the PowerPoint slide show serve as a point of departure for these other sessions:

See the PowerPoint Slide Show

Overview

This presentation intends to cover several tools found useful in synchronous mode online language learning. These tools have used to great effect in the online class Writing for Webheads This class, is conducted as a hobby by the presenter in conjunction with two other teachers (Margaret Doty and Michael Coghlan, never met personally). The WFW class has been meeting regularly and developing a strengthening sense of community together continually since 1998.

The following has been prepared to briefly overview and demonstrate the freely downloadable online synchronous communications tools we have used over the past year during the course of this class.

Preparations for class

Student email accounts registered with egroups

An egroup was set up via http://www.egroups.com. Called efiwebheads, it is reachable by its members at efiwebheads@egroups.com

Passwords can be obtained for egroup accts by visiting http://www.egroup.com and following simple instructions after clicking on the word: forgot?

Installations

Participants in the class install the following programs on their computers:

ICQ from http://www.mirabilis.com

The Palace from http://www.thepalace.com/products/client/index.html, the Palace user software.

A browser, such as Netscape and IE.

Networds created

To make web access more "friendly" I created "networds" for the following urls:

To make a netword, visit http://www.netword.com

To use a netword, either go to the url above and enter a netword, or the url above slash netword; e.g.

Netword

Netword url

Page description

Realworld url

webheads

http://www.netword.com/webheads

The main page of Writing for Webheads

http://members.tripod.com/vstevens/efi/webheads.htm

Webheads_chatclass

http://www.netword.com/webheads_chatclass

The synchronous chat page of Writing for Webheads

http://members.tripod.com/vstevens/efi/software.htm

Webheads_textchat

http://www.netword.com/webheads_textchat

The text chat page of Writing for Webheads

http://www.homestead.com/vstevens/

Webheads_voicechat

http://www.netword.com/webheads_voicechat

The voice chat page of Writing for Webheads

http://www.chariot.net.au/~michaelc/hearme.htm

Webheads_chatlogs

http://www.netword.com/webheads_chatlogs

A record of the logs of almost all synchronous chats with Webheads

http://members.tripod.com/vstevens/efi/chatlogs.htm

Webheads_students

http://www.netword.com/webheads_students

Meet the students and teachers in the Webheads class; visit their homepages

http://members.tripod.com/vstevens/efi/students.htm

Webheads_welcome

http://www.netword.com/webheads_welcome

A welcome to the Webheads class and overview for new and prospective students

http://members.tripod.com/vstevens/efi/webwelcm.htm

 These pages are all mirrored at http://www.homestead.com/vstevens/files/efi/webheads.htm (to give access to all students in Webheads)

As a synchronous chat class gets underway

At a pre-agreed time (11:30 GMT each Sunday), participants contact each other in this way:

The amazing thing about the first two chat clients is their simplicity of creation.

Things you can do on your own:

You can browse around the Writing for Webheads site at http://www.netword.com/webheads to get some idea of how the class is conducted and what the students have done over time.

You can visit the following urls to try to download the real videos illustrating our attempts to communicate audioVISUALLY via freely available Real products:

Visit the chat rooms and play around meet us or your friends there.


For comments, suggestions, or further information on this page, contact Vance Stevens, page author and webmaster.

Last updated: March 27, 2000