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The following has been taken from the TCC2000 website at:

http://lehua.kcc.hawaii.edu:8080/~tcc2000-writing-teams/login

 

Topic:

      On-line Interaction? (1 of 10), Read 55 times

 Conf:

      Team Language

 From:

      Satoru Shinagawa satoru@leahi.kcc.hawaii.edu

 Date:

      Tuesday, April 11, 2000 10:28 PM

 

When conducting a language course on-line, how do you get your students to interact with each other? Web chatting is one thing but is it possible to create a situation where the students can actually speak to each other on-line? It seems that one virtue of on-line courses is that one can study anytime. But if one has to interact with another person, the time needs to be set up, which seems to take away the freedom of time. Is it possible to solve this dilemma?

 

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 Topic:

      On-line Interaction? (2 of 10), Read 44 times

 Conf:

      Team Language

 From:

      Keiko Schneider kschnei@sabotenweb.com

 Date:

      Wednesday, April 12, 2000 05:39 AM

 

 

Satoru sensei,

When I take on-line class of any kind, there are usually web forums like this. In my mock online class, http://www.sabotenweb.com/class/ijo, Introduction to Japanese Online, I made participation to such forum mandatory. And how about making listserv for group works. I am all speaking from no experience teaching online. I will be delighted if somebody could comment on this.  (Corrected later to http://www.sabotenweb.com/classes/ijo - ed.)

 

Sincerely yours,

Keiko Schneider

 

 

---

 

 Topic:

      On-line Interaction? (3 of 10), Read 30 times

 Conf:

      Team Language

 From:

      Hiroko Dewitz yama358@ibm.net

 Date:

      Wednesday, April 12, 2000 11:35 AM

 

 

Keiko Sensei,

I clicked your URL but I couldn't find the file. Listserve is good as a means of brainstorming among the students, but as a language course, I think that the developer of on-line course has to think of other devices for some interaction among students, for example, real time interaction, etc. Would you please let me know how do you manage this issue?

Hiroko

 

---

 

 Topic:

      Re: On-line Interaction? (4 of 10), Read 29 times

 Conf:

      Team Language

 From:

      Keiko Schneider kschnei@sabotenweb.com

 Date:

      Wednesday, April 12, 2000 11:38 AM

 

 

>From: "Hiroko Dewitz"

>

>Keiko Sensei,

>I clicked your URL but I couldn't find the file.

>Listserve is good as a means of brainstorming among the students, but as a

>language course, I think that the developer of on-line course has to think

>of other devices for some interaction among students, for example, real

>time interaction, etc. Would you please let me know how do you manage this

>issue?

>Hiroko

 

I am sorry Hiroko sensei. Which link did you want to visit?

 

I would like to answer your quesiton, but I never taught online. suimasen. Satoru sensei says real time interaction defeats the purpose of having online class, that is convenient.

 

What do you think?

 

Sincerely yours,

Keiko Schneider

 

---

 

 

 Topic:

      Re: On-line Interaction? (5 of 10), Read 6 times

 Conf:

      Team Language

 From:

      Michael Coghlan michaelc@chariot.net.au

 Date:

      Saturday, April 15, 2000 04:52 AM

 

 

On 4/12/00 11:38:14 AM, Keiko Schneider wrote:

 

Satoru sensei says real time interaction defeats the

purpose of having

online class, that is convenient.

 

What do you think?

 

I think the ideal solution is to have both. Some students will benefit a great deal from real time chat and will make the effort to attend such sessions. But there should also be asynchronous forums (email listserv, bulletin boards) for those who prefer this style of communication.

 

We should exploit all the possibilities that the Internet provides. The beauty of the Internet is that it enables teachers to do things that have never been possible before - like combining real time and asynchronous approaches to communication.

 

(for further discussion of this type of method see the paper in this conference from Coghlan and Stevens.)

 

---

 

 

 Topic:

      On-line Interaction? (6 of 10), Read 29 times

 Conf:

      Team Language

 From:

      Keiko Schneider kschnei@sabotenweb.com

 Date:

      Wednesday, April 12, 2000 11:40 AM

 

 

Hiroko sensei,

Sorry. It is http://www.sabotenweb.com/classes/ijo It is incomplete, so take a look at it with grain of salt...

 

Keiko Schneider

 

---

 

 Topic:

      On-line Interaction? (7 of 10), Read 30 times

 Conf:

      Team Language

 From:

      Kristin Lems klem@whe2.nl.edu

 Date:

      Wednesday, April 12, 2000 11:36 AM

 

 

Hello - I have taken several classes, as a doctoral student, that have online aspects. We have had some good interactions even though they are not in "real time." A person posts a message, and others come back and respond to it. Then the original post-er comes and reads them (just like we're doing now!) I think the same thing can happen in foreign language learning. They can still interact regularly, even daily, even if not in "real time." But you probably do need to require postings, to be sure that everyone has somebody to respond to.

 

---

 

 Topic:

      On-line Interaction? (8 of 10), Read 28 times

 Conf:

      Team Language

 From:

      Keiko Schneider kschnei@sabotenweb.com

 Date:

      Wednesday, April 12, 2000 11:43 AM

 

 

Another thought.

Real time "chat" is really a typing. Imagine typing in a foreign language when you try to think what to say and if you had limiting typing skills... I don't know if real time "chat" has place in beginning especially Japanese class.

 

Oh, Vance Stevens will demonstrate voice chat tomorrow, he said. If you use PC, you will be able to experience it.

 

Keiko Schneider

 

---

 

 

 Topic:

      Re: On-line Interaction? (9 of 10), Read 22 times

 Conf:

      Team Language

 From:

      Satoru Shinagawa satoru@leahi.kcc.hawaii.edu

 Date:

      Wednesday, April 12, 2000 03:08 PM

 

 

 

> Oh, Vance Stevens will demonstrate voice chat

tomorrow, he said. If you

>use PC, you will be able to experience it.

 

I'm interested in this, but 13:00 GMT is 3 in the morning in Hawaii (if I figured this out correctly). I cannot join this. Someone, please give me a good report on this.

 

Satoru

 

---

 

 Topic:

      Re: On-line Interaction? (10 of 10), Read 21 times

 Conf:

      Team Language

 From:

      Keiko Schneider kschnei@sabotenweb.com

 Date:

      Wednesday, April 12, 2000 03:30 PM

 

 

>I'm interested in this, but 13:00 GMT is 3 in the morning in Hawaii (if I

>figured this out correctly). I cannot join this. Someone, please give me

>a good report on this.

 

Satoru sensei,

Yes, it is 7am for me, but I will be up! I can either report or why don't we have them report? The paper's about student perspectives. You should be able to have access to the log, too. Let me know if you want me to report.

 

Sincerely yours,

Keiko Schneider

 

---

 

Topic:    Coghlan & Stevens (1 of 3), Read 32 times

Conf:     Team Language

From:    Keiko Schneider kschnei@sabotenweb.com

Date:     Thursday, April 13, 2000 05:09 AM

 

Dear fellow language teachers,

With such an interest from Satoru sensei and others, I slapped myself waking up this morning. I better write something before I go to the next session. I did remind them to come down here and join us.

 

They were showing voice chat (which is not compatible with my Mac) and discussing on the Web Chat. They had about four students from all over the world participating with them. Three teachers were present. Michael and Vance, the author of the paper and Maggi. Vance is from Abu Dhabi, Michael is from Australia and Maggi is from Germany. Their focus was building a community and tell students' perspectives of this.

 

I felt different context. This is non credit, no pay involved. No written curriculum or lesson plans. Teachers do it for fun not even asking for recognition from the institution. Students come and participate and they obviously like it or worth their time. They stick around almost two years, they said.

 

In terms of interatcion, they use this voice chat, listserv off eGroups and use Web page. Since they are doing it for fun, students show up in real time chat, too. (When it is fun, I guess students find time easier.) Scheduling doesn't seem to be a problem.

 

In my humble opinion, this framework is great if what student needs most is actual practice and they are already committed and advanced in skills enough to come forward. I don't know if same framework would work at the beginning level where lot more step-by-step guidence is needed, as Satoru sensei points out in his paper.

 

I feel the success of this program (can I call it a program?) has to do with the nature of this. In a way, I feel they are lucky to be in the position to run this. After all, they need equipment and technical support. (Japanese can't be done this way...)

 

I think I will leave it about this much and hope the real McCoy shows up.

 

Sincerely yours,

Keiko Schneider

 

---

 

 Topic:

      Coghlan & Stevens (2 of 3), Read 10 times

 Conf:

      Team Language

 From:

      Michael Coghlan michaelc@chariot.net.au

 Date:

      Saturday, April 15, 2000 04:39 AM

 

 

Keiko - am I the real McCoy?!

 

You are mostly right in saying that our kind of community works best with students who already have fairly advanced language and technical skills. However, our community has a few members who have only intermediate level language skills, but good technical facility with the Internet.

 

I would agree that it would be difficult for English language beginners to be part of our community (which is conducted completely online) but in my own workplace I know several low level students who very much enjoy the language learning opportunities that the Internet provides. These students though are using the Internet as a resource in the classroom with a teacher there to assist them. They do however happily take part in online discussions.

 

This is interesting because there is an assumption by many that students with low level literacy can not use this medium. This is simply not true. In the hands of a good instructor who can point them to appropriate resources, low level language students love using the Internet for communicative and other practice activities.

 

Can you call our class (the Webheads community) a program? No, not really. I would call it more a process; a process that evolves out of the input of its participants. A program implies a start and end point. Webheads has neither of these. It is a dynamic entity that people can enter and contribute to, or not.

 

It is interesting too what you say that you felt a 'different context'. Our students also comment on this. They are part of the community because they want to be because they enjoy it and learn from it. And although we have, as you say, no lesson plans and no curriculum, our students do learn. It is very noticeable that the English of our longer term members has improved considerably.

 

I think the Webheads class mirrors what I believe happens with language learning in real life; namely, that most learning takes place outside the classroom. Webheads is a virtual place of learning outside the online classroom that provides endless opportunity for (virtual) real world communication. So in that sense it is not so much a class, as a place where people can practice their English outside of class.

 

As I read your post Keiko I was wondering if the Webheads community would be as successful if we had formal assessment, deadlines, etc. I don't know the answer to that question!

 

Thanks for being an enthusiastic contributor to our chat session Keiko. It was good to meet you.

 

---

 

 Topic:

      Re: Coghlan & Stevens (3 of 3), Read 4 times

 Conf:

      Team Language

 From:

      Keiko Schneider kschnei@sabotenweb.com

 Date:

      Sunday, April 16, 2000 10:29 AM

 

 

>From: "Michael Coghlan"

>

>Keiko - am I the real McCoy?!

 

Yes, thank you for your contribution. And I apologize misspelling your name...

 

>This is interesting because there is an assumption by many that students

>with low level literacy can not use this medium. This is simply not true.

>In the hands of a good instructor who can point them to appropriate

>resources, low level language students love using the Internet for

>communicative and other practice activities.

 

I was particulary interested in this comment. We teachers tend to decide things for students and possibly we are limiting an effective medium of instruction.

 

Now I wonder it takes certain TYPE of students to be in this kind of community. Their level of computer literacy, personality, organization skills, commitment in learning the language. Any comments?

 

>I think the Webheads class mirrors what I believe happens with language

>learning in real life; namely, that most learning takes place outside the

>classroom. Webheads is a virtual place of learning outside the online

>classroom that provides endless opportunity for (virtual) real world

>communication. So in that sense it is not so much a class, as a place

>where people can practice their English outside of class.

 

At a recent workshop, I was asked to write down three things.

1)How/when were you taught?

2)How/where did you learn? and

3)How/when did you know you can function in the language?

I think most "students" in the webheads, would put their experiences in number 2 or 3 rather than 1.

 

>As I read your post Keiko I was wondering if the Webheads community would

>be as successful if we had formal assessment, deadlines, etc. I don't know

>the answer to that question! >

>Thanks for being an enthusiastic contributor to our chat session Keiko. It

>was good to meet you.

 

Thank YOU for your paper and it was a great pleasure being able to interact with you in real time. I am ESL by training and sometimes get envious what you can do in ESL, such as this, is not still implemented in foreign languages. However since this voice chat doesn't involve any encoding and display capability AND addresses the crucial issue of dealing with oral/aural skills, I am deligted to know something like that is in fact working.

 

I thank you again and hope we can keep in touch to explore this issue further in the future.

 

Sincerely yours,

Keiko Schneider

 

---

 

Topic:

      Re: Coghlan & Stevens (4 of 4), Read 0 times 

 Conf:

      Team Language

 From:

      Vance Stevens vstevens@emirates.net.ae

 Date:

      Saturday, April 22, 2000 02:23 AM

 

 

> Now I wonder it takes certain TYPE of students to be in this kind of community. Their level of computer literacy, personality, organization skills, commitment in learning the language. Any comments?

 

>I feel the success of this program (can I call it a program?) has to do with the nature of this. In a way, I feel they are lucky to be in the position to run this. After all, they need equipment and technical support

 

I'd like to comment on these two points. Good point, can you call it a program. Probably not. I've presented on webheads and discussed it in groups at conferences and I am struck by how different our situation is to any other I hear about. Most other people are locked into some kind of institutional framework that would hamper their development of a "program" such as ours. The choice is therefore to adapt our program or change the framework. Whereas the latter would be the preferable option, the former is the only course open to most practitioners. However, since adaptation to comply to an institutional framework would probably compromise in some way the ingredients which have made our "program" successful, probably educators intending to put courses online SHOULD be looking at ways the institutional framework could be altered to accommodate programs like ours.

 

At my presentation at TESOL in Vancouver, I was asked, what about assessment? The question was meant, how do we assess the students, but I answered that the assessment was pretty good since the students were still there after two years, and apparently the teachers were being assessed well. This wasn't the answer expected, but it's the best answer to such a question.

 

Michael asks above if our "program" would work if there WERE assessment. Well, probably not so well, if at all. The community here has formed spontaneously. The students all self-selected themselves by visiting a site where they could sign up for free English lessons and opted for a course with "3-dimensional learning" or something meaningless like that but suggesting an out of the ordinary experience. So the level of the students computer literacy is such that they are in fact "webheads"; they self-selected to take a course where they could make us of their computer skills, which they all seem to have (they are mostly on ICQ, they can send files, figure out how to download and install and register with and log on to the Palace while we are there waiting for them, to give an example or two). Organization skills? I have no idea, but commitment to language learning is high in some, and also they are open to new methodologies. There is an interesting interchange on this topic on our web site: http://members.tripod.com/vstevens/efi/methods.htm

 

The other comment I wanted to make regards technical support. This is the point about Webheads. Not only is it a community of language learners and teachers who want to learn more about online communication techniques, but it is also a FREE and volunteer all of the above. There is no funding, and no support. Everyone, even the students, does this in his/her spare time. And we all enjoy it. We use free web-based tools. We have to buy our own computers of course, but these days, a computer costing less than $1000 new will do all of what we require it to do. Mostly, you just need to stay on top of the correct software tools, such as a 4.0 or better browser. The tools we use are all freely downloadable.

 

One offshoot to this conference has been the start of a list at tfw@egroups.com. TFW stands for Teaching for Webheads. Joining this list will put you in touch with other teachers who share your interest in using free web-based tools to facilitate authentic and purely communicative target language interactions online. This list is one of these tools. Hopefully, list members will make each other aware of many more and provide each other with opportunities to learn about and practice their use.

 

The difference between this list and other lists is that this list intends to act as a base where people can brief and de-brief as they plan or return from exploratory missions on the Internet. Modeled on the Writing for Webheads experience, this list is just an email component to what I hope will be a wider experience of its members attempting various modes of synchronous and non-synchronous communication on the Internet. List members can bring each other up to par with aspects of the technology that attract mutual interest, and experiment with those which they might later use with students

 

Vance Stevens

 


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Last updated: April 22,  2000