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Chat with students Ying-Lan from Taiwan and Gloria from Paraguay, and teachers Michael C and Vance

January 30, 2000

The chat took place in Vance's chat room at and simultaneously in Michael's voice chat room at We used the former chat room to meet and organize, but the second chat room with its voice capabilities was more fun, so we ended up there. This transcript is only from the time we spent in Vance's chat room (we'd need to capture audio files to preserve the other chat ... Vance is thinking about it).

Connecting to chat server...

Connected and signed in.

You have joined the chat room as Anonymous92.

Members of room: Anonymous92

You have changed your name to Vance.

Anonymous15 has joined the chat room.

Anonymous15 is now known as gloria.

<Anonymous25> Gloria - isn that you?

<gloria> Hi

<Vance> Hi. I'm just trying to find you on icq on my home computer

<Anonymous25> Found you!

Anonymous25 is now known as MichaelC.

<MichaelC> How's life Gloria?

<Vance> There, I've added you Gloria on my home computer

<gloria> fine thanks

<Vance> Did you have trouble with the voice chat program?

<MichaelC> Yes she did!

<gloria> what about Maggi and Ying

<gloria> yes

<MichaelC> Maggie won't be here today...

<MichaelC> ...she's busy moving house

<Vance> Just curious ... what was the problem?

<gloria> we'll try some other time

<MichaelC> Ying is still coming.

<Vance> I'm wondering what problems people encounter


At this point Vance resizes his window. This re-starts his chat client. He rejoins the chat ...


Connecting to chat server...

Connected and signed in.

You have joined the chat room as Vance.

Members of room: Vance MichaelC gloria

<MichaelC> I'm still here Gloria.

<gloria> ok

<gloria> what about life in australia

<MichaelC> We're talking in the other place and talking here as


Throughout this chat with Gloria, Michael and Vance are in Michael's voice chat room talking to Ying Lan. Gloria at this point is unable to reach the voice chat, and Ying Lan is telling us, in audio, about a problem she has when trying to reach the text chat room where Gloria is. So as you read what follows, up to the point where Ying Lan solves her problem and joins us here, you have to imagine Michael and I keeping in the chat room with Gloria while Ying Lan is conversing with us on the chat channel that we can't preserve here.

<Vance> Hi. I'm using netscape 4.7

<MichaelC> Life in Australia is beautiful today. But I have gone

back to work so I'm busy again.

<gloria> how hot is there?

<Vance> In Abu Dhabi it's 23

<gloria> nice

<MichaelC> Today 29. Tomorrow 31. Tuesday 37. And there?

<Vance> There's a difference between 4.6 and 4.7

<gloria> almost the same here

<Vance> You might want to get 4.7 from

<gloria> I should get the 4.7 version

<MichaelC> Have you been doing anything exciting lately?

<gloria> no, nothing special

<MichaelC> Working hard? On holidays?

<gloria> boring life! :)

<Vance> I went diving down to 50 meters on Thursday (crazy)

<gloria> yes sure

<MichaelC> Why is that crazy vance?

<MichaelC> Is it dangerous?

<gloria> well seems you don't waste your time Vance

<MichaelC> Have you ever been diving Gloria? I haven't.

<gloria> I have't

<gloria> haven't

<Vance> It's 20minutes decompression

<Vance> All the divers ran out of air on the way up

<MichaelC> So where do you decompress?

<gloria> I hardly can swim

<gloria> :)

<Vance> Fortunately another tank appeared from the surface just

in time

<Vance> Ying Lan is using Netscape 4.5 and she can use the

hearme chat perfectly

<gloria> weird

<MichaelC> Are you a boring person Gloria? (joke)

<gloria> I hope don't :))

<Vance> You hope not (claro que no!)

<MichaelC> You mean "I hope I'm not! (I'm sure you're not. You

don't look boring!)

<gloria> I'm not

<Vance> bored or boring ??

<gloria> claro que no!

<MichaelC> Nor am I.

<gloria> so you speak a little spanish Vance?

Anonymous84 has joined the chat room.

<MichaelC> Well you say he is boring (you find him boring) and

he is bored.

Now Ying Lan solves her problem and manages to join us in the text chat room.

Anonymous84 has left the chat room.

Anonymous71 has joined the chat room.

Anonymous71 is now known as Ying.

<Ying> I am here. hi, gloria

<MichaelC> You made it Ying!

<gloria> Hi Ying!

<Vance> Yeah! We're all together

<Ying> It is funny

<Vance> Now, MC and YL and I can talk, and we can ALL chat

with Gloria. Perfect

<MichaelC> We won't be beaten!

<Ying> I am sorry, I am not a good student.

<MichaelC> Why do you say that YL?

<Vance> Ying, you are the best student I ever had!!

<Vance> (a) You come week after week voluntarily

<Vance> (b) you try very hard

<gloria> what about me? ;)

<Vance> YL is saying that she doesn't work hard enough and

doesn't work every day

(Vance is trying to tell Gloria what Ying Lan is talking about in voice chat)

<MichaelC> YL and Gloria - have you been reading the emails

from Moral and Ming about China and Hong Kong?

<Vance> and she doesn't remember vocabulary

<Vance> and that she's too lazy to remember

<gloria> no

<Vance> of course not! (claro que no!)

<Vance> Now I'm listening to YL and MC chat and talking to you,



Uh, here Vance lost a bit of the text chat because the text chat client is so clunky - but not much of it ...


<Vance> Gloria, we have to help you to get this

<gloria> the hearing program?

<Vance> Yeah. It's really cool

<gloria> I think it is

On the other channel, the talk chat line, Ying Lan is talking about accents and how an Australian she has encountered says how are you to die. This leads us, in voice chat, to a discussion of whether language learners distinguish accent or not.

<Ying> How are you today (to die)?

<Vance> We're making fun of MC's accent

<Vance> We're not being very kind :-(

<gloria> I know australian people have a weird accent :)

<MichaelC> Now you're being rude Gloria!

<Vance> YL is making a good point. She cannot distinguish

accents in a foreign language.

<gloria> why?

<Vance> You can probably tell a Spanish speaker from different

countries, but I never could

<gloria> I began learning english why the british accent

<Vance> Can you tell the difference between English accents?

<gloria> then I moved to the american

<gloria> it is easier

<MichaelC> The British accent is a nice accent.

<Vance> Do you think an American accent is easier?

<gloria> I can tell people from their accents in spanish

<gloria> and I can recognize accent from UK and America and


<MichaelC> That's good Gloria.

<Vance> That's unusual. You must speak English quite well

<MichaelC> Your English must be advanced too.

<gloria> even south africans have a different accent

<MichaelC> Gloria - what is the best Spanish accent?

<Vance> for me, NOT castillian

<gloria> paraguayan accent is very good

<Vance> but which do you consider best

<MichaelC> Of course!

<gloria> latin american accent

<gloria> southamerican accent

<MichaelC> But there are many Latin American accents aren't


<gloria> caribean accent is not too good

<Vance> What accent do people from Spain consider best?

<gloria> Spanish accent :)

<gloria> You can tell an argentinian in a second! just because its


<Vance> I can never tell accents in Spanish. I was just in the

Caribbean. It sounds the same to me

<Vance> How about Irish?

<Vance> That's very distinct to me

<gloria> I don't know

<Vance> You hear a lot of it in the news because the diplomacy

in Ireland

<Vance> Is this your day off Gloria?

<gloria> No, I'm in my office

<Vance> Is it at the phone company?

<gloria> yes

<Vance> Do you have an office to yourself?

<gloria> probably I would understand you better than to MC if I talk

with you

<Vance> We'll have to figure out what your problem is so you can

try both

<Vance> So did you get an error message?

<Vance> Ah, are you behind a firewall??

<gloria> no

<Vance> Do you have a direct phone connection to the internet or

do you go through a central server?

<gloria> it was trying to connect then the message disconnected


<gloria> through a central server right now

<Vance> message disconnected ... why not try again and tell me

what it says exactly, or can you do that and stay here ..??

<Vance> If you're going through a server, there is most likely a

firewall. Do you have to put in a proxy address?

<gloria> no

<gloria> I'll try again

gloria has left the chat room.

<MichaelC> Everything OK here?

<MichaelC> Who is 552?

Everything is ok. Gloria leaves this chat and joins Ying Lan and Michael C and I in the other chat room. But interestingly, Gloria has no microphone. She can hear what the rest of us are saying, but she has to respond in text. She decides to get a mic for next week. Michael gets a cup of coffee so he can stay awake because it's very late in Australia, but he seems to be enjoying himself. Ying Lan waxes loquacious. Gloria responds in text as in a game of charades. Vance eventually says he has to get down to the souk to replace a tire, and everyone says goodbye. Definitely these people will all be back here next week. This is really compellingly good. We're on to something here.

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Last updated: January 30, 2000