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11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN1 SKYPING the WEST with the EAST Presented by Li Jin University of South Florida.

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Presentation on theme: "11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN1 SKYPING the WEST with the EAST Presented by Li Jin University of South Florida."— Presentation transcript:

1 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN1 SKYPING the WEST with the EAST Presented by Li Jin University of South Florida

2 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN2 Purpose of the Presentation Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication (SCMC) & Foreign Language Education What is SKYPE? My Study: Skyping Chinese as a Foreign Language (CFL) Students with Native Speakers in China Benefits and caveats of SKYPING Foreign Language Students with Native Speakers Pedagogical implications

3 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN3 SCMC Synchronous computer-mediated communication: a.k.a. chat, Internet-based communication through synchronous technologies such as MUD (Multi-User Domain), MOOs (MUD-Object- Oriented), ICQ (QQ in China), public chat room, instant messenger. Emerging synchronous technologies: VOIP (SKYPE, GIZMO), MSN IM, AOL IM, Yahoo! IM, Gmail Chat, etc.

4 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN4 SCMC & FLE SCMC has been used in FLE since the early 1990s. –Text-based large-group synchronous chat was used in various FLE classrooms (e.g. Beauvois, 1992; Chun, 1994; Kelm, 1992; Kern, 1995) –Dyadic text chat (e.g. O’Rourke, 2005; Pellettieri, 2000; Sotillo, 2005) –Bimodal chat (Blake, 2005)

5 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN5 Features and Benefits of SCMC in FLE Chat tends to produce more complex language than traditional face-to-face communication (e.g. Chun, 1994; Kern, 1997); Participation increases; Attitudes toward the target language improve; SCMC elicits similar discourse functions to those in face-to- face communication (Sotillo, 2000); Chat experience increases oral achievements (Abrams, 2003; Beauvois, 1997; Dussias, 2006; Payne & Whitney, 2002); Chat experience enhances acquisition of lexical items (Smith, 2004); Chat helps students improve interlanguage pragmatic competence (e.g. Sykes, 2005)

6 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN6 Bimodal CMC Bimodal chatting can stimulate linguistic interactions that provide similar benefits to those in face-to-face collaborations. (Blake, 2005)

7 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN7 What is SKYPE? SKYPE is an open-source software that supports one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many bimodal chat: both voice and text, which requires speakers and a microphone. SKYPE supports multilingual interface

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9 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN9 Synchronous Interaction Afforded in SKYPE Computer-to-computer call and computer- to-landline call regardless of local or international distance Text chat One-to-one or One-to-many Text messages when friends are offline; voice message (paid service) Call/Chat history

10 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN10 Text-chat window Chinese native speaker CFL Student calltext Voice chatting text chatting

11 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN11 The Study Context –Modern Chinese III: Chinese conversations and Literacy in the Department of World Languages –Lab-based class –Students use Chinese input system: NJ-Star

12 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN12 The Purposes of Using SKYPE Build intercultural connections between CFL students and native speakers of Chinese; Amplify authentic language learning opportunities that afford meaningful communications; Enhance students’ communicative competences in Chinese

13 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN13 Participants All students enrolled in Modern Chinese III university students in Central China Each CFL student was paired up with a native speaker to conduct SKYPE conversations

14 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN14 Integrating SKYPE in After-class Conversation Activities Students learned characters, phrases, and sentence structures used in typical Chinese conversations in class; Students selected topics to practice Chinese with their partner on SKYPE; Students ed their partners to introduce themselves and set up a SKYPE chat time; The teacher joined the conversation to introduce the CFL student and his/her partner.

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17 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN17 Features of SKYPE Interaction Both text and voice chat: –Use text to request for clarification in voice conversation: CFL students asked NS partners to type what they are saying in both Chinese and English; –Use text to check voice comprehension: CFL students used text to ensure what they said was comprehended by their partners; –Use both text and voice for linguistic learning: CFL students typed/said English to ask Chinese partners to translate.

18 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN18 Students’ Perceptions “SKYPE conversations are very helpful. I can practice my Chinese speaking and know more about Chinese culture.” “It is exciting. I have a Chinese friend now!” “I don’t know what to talk to my partner. If I was given some topics, SKYPE conversations will be much easier.” “I am scared. I feel someone was laughing at me when I was speaking Chinese. I don’t know my partner that well. I prefer to practice it with my teacher before talking to my Chinese partner.” “I have scheduling issues. I cannot stay up at night to wait for my Chinese partner [to get online]. I am always sleepy in the morning. So I never get chances to talk to my Chinese partner on SKYPE.”

19 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN19 CAVEATS in SKYPE Conversations Affective: CFL students may be intimidated by speaking the target language with an unfamiliar native speaker; Cognitive: even intermediate-level CFL students may not possess plenty of linguistic knowledge in authentic conversations; Logistical: CFL students may have scheduling conflicts with China native speakers; Pedagogical: CFL students need topics in intercultural communication with native speakers.

20 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN20 Pedagogical Implications Teacher’s roles Students’ roles Group size Learning tasks for SKYPE conversations Follow-up Activities SKYPE conversation training

21 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN21 Teacher’s Roles (FLET) Technology guru (SKYPE & Chinese Input System) Facilitator / Mediator (introduce dyads and mediate the first SKYPE conversation) Liaison / middle-person (with students and teachers in China) Encourager (intercultural communicator)

22 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN22 Students’ Roles Autonomous language learner –Use Chinese partner as a language resource –Practice Chinese listening & speaking skills Intercultural communicator (intercultural communication competences, Byram, 1997)

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24 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN24 Group Size Dyadic chat/tandem learning: –reciprocity, but requires intrinsic motivation (Belz & Thorne, 2006) –Teacher’s mediation (assigned topics, follow- up activities) Group chat: –not good for voice interaction, too distracting –Information-overload, bimodal chat suggested

25 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN25 Learning Tasks Task-based activities provide conditions allowing learners to maintain the balance of fluency, accuracy, and complexity of language development (Skehan, 1998). Linguistic & Discourse Competences –Ethnographic interviews –Career paths, current events in the press, differences in the educational system in two cultures –Classroom themes Pragmatic proficiency –Role-play or open discussion about how to praise and react to appraisal; invitation and refusal Intercultural communication competences –Questionnaires on C1/C2 (Bauer, deBenedette, Furstenberg, Levet, & Waryn, 2006) –Parallel texts/images on the same topic in two cultures (Kinginger, et al, 1999) –Ethnography (O’Dowd, 2006)

26 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN26 Follow-up Activities Students can bring new linguistic forms they learn during conversations to share with the class; Students can reflect on their communication with their partner and practice critical thinking during intercultural communication; Students can reflect on the learning experience and modify their future learning in terms of technology use and language use.

27 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN27 SKYPE Conversation Training The teacher needs to demonstrate where to access and install the software; demonstrate how to make good use of the technologies (Chinese input System and bimodal chat); demonstrate how to play the dual roles of language learner and intercultural communicator (how to ask for help in language learning and how to express ideas in an interculturally appropriate way) demonstrate how to remedy intercultural communication breakdown

28 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN28 Online Recourses for SKYPE Implications SKYPE Gizmo, Google Talk, Yahoo!Voice, MSN Chat NJ Star Communicator Microsoft (control panel/regional and language option/languages)

29 11/18/06ACTFL, Nashville, TN29 If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at


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