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Using Audio and Video Conferencing to Develop Learners' Oral Proficiency

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Title: Using Audio and Video Conferencing to Develop Learners' Oral Proficiency


1
Using Audio and Video Conferencing to Develop
Learners' Oral Proficiency
Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign
Languages March 31, 2006 New York, NY
  • Lina Lee
  • University of New Hampshire
  • http//www.unh.edu/spanish/lina
  • llee_at_hopper.unh.edu

2
Language
A Vehicle for Communication
One of the Five Cs of National Standards for
Foreign Language Learning
3
Communication
  • Expression
  • Interpretation
  • Interaction
  • Input (Krashen, 1985)
  • Negotiation of meaning (Long, 1996)
  • Focus-on-Form (Schmidt, 1995)
  • Pushed/modified output (Swain, 1995)

4
Communicative Competence
  • Fluency
  • How well?
  • Accuracy
  • How accurate?
  • Pragmatics
  • How appropriate?

5
However
  • Large classes
  • 20-25 students
  • Limited time spent in regular classrooms
  • 3 days of week 50 minutes each class
  • Lack of opportunities to use L2 outside of class
  • English New England areas

6
Advanced Technology
7
Computer Mediated Communication--CMC
  • Synchronous interaction
  • Text-based chat
  • Audio conferencing
  • Synchronous interaction
  • Videoconferencing
  • Room-based conferencing
  • Group-to-group interaction
  • Desktop conferencing (DVC)
  • Connection to personal computer
  • One-to-one interaction

8
Videoconferencing for Language Learning
  • More on class-to-class/group-group interaction
  • Promotion of Intercultural exchanges
  • Cultura projects
  • http//www3.unileon.es/personal/wwdfmrod/videoc.ht
    ml
  • Implementation of particular project or software
    for distance learning
  • Language exchange through expert-novice remote
    tutorials

9
Videoconferencing for Language Learning
(continued)
  • ReLaTe http//piglet.ex.ac.uk/pallas/relate/paper
    s/life.html
  • LEVERAGE http//greco.dit.upm.es/leverage/about.
    htm
  • Lyceum http//llt.msu.edu/vol8num1/hampel/default
    .html
  • NetMeeting by Microsoft
  • http//llt.msu.edu/vol8num3/wang/default.html

10
Desktop ConferencingDVC
  • Lack of research on one-to-one audio and video
    interaction
  • One step beyond text-based CMC
  • Ever close to face-to-face exchange
  • Hear, talk and see at the same time
  • Spontaneous feedback and responses
  • BUT lack of non-verbal cues
  • Need of good listening and speaking skills

11
My Previous Projects
12
Some of My CMC Publications
  • Enhancing learners' communication skills through
    synchronous electronic interaction and task-based
    instruction. Foreign Language Annals 35, pp.
    16-23, 2002
  • Learners' perspectives on networked collaborative
    interaction with native speakers of Spanish in
    the US. Language Learning Technology 8, pp.
    83-100, 2004
  • Using web-based instruction to promote active
    learning learners perspectives. CALICO Journal
    23, pp. 139-156, 2005
  • Network Collaborative Interaction Native and
    nonnative speakers feedback and uptake. AAUSC,
    pp. 147-176, 2005

13
My Current Project
14
My Goals of Using DVC
  • Enhance L2 listening and speaking skills outside
    the classroom
  • Reinforce interpretation and interpersonal
    skills
  • Engage in real-time language exchange with
    expert speakers
  • Promote meaning form negotiation
  • Foster collaboration and scaffolding

15
Plans
  • Plan A
  • Wimba--3000 for one semester
  • ????
  • Plan B
  • Free software
  • Budget of less than 500

16
Software/Equipment
  • Download Ichat or AIM (Free)
  • Download and Purchase Snaps Pro X (70)
  • Purchase webcam--Isight (160)
  • Purchase a Microphone (17)
  • Purchase headphones (20)
  • Griffen Imic (30)--audio adapter
  • A total 297, which is fairly cheap in the grand
    scheme of things.

17
Technological Tools
  • Free software by AOL
  • Ichat for Macs
  • AIM for Windows
  • Ichat
  • Text
  • Audio
  • Video

Provided by AOL
18
Technological Tools
Technological Tools
  • Snaps Pro X
  • Screen Capture
  • Audio Capture
  • Video Capture

Provided by Ambrosia Software http//www.ambrosias
w.com
19
Setting up
4. Adjust your camera as necessary 5. Open Snaps
Pro X 6. Select Movie Capture 7. Highlight audio
box or video screen 8. Double click and Snaps
begins recording the session 9. Click Snaps
Icon to stop recording 10. Choose compression
settings 11. Wait to process and view
  • Setup Isight and Microphone
  • Logon to Ichat at both work stations
  • Initiate audio or video chat by clicking the
    telephone or video camera icon next to your
    buddy's name

20
Problems
  • Disk Space
  • Compression Settings (quality and time)
  • Audio
  • Video
  • How much time?

21
A Little Background
  • 632Advanced Composition and Conversation
  • 18 students--3 males and 15 females
  • Intermediate level of proficiency
  • Blackboard
  • Weekly online essays
  • Weekly online chats (CMC)
  • DVC audio/video recordings

22
18 Expert Speakers
  • 10 native speakers
  • Peru, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica,
    Puerto Rico, Spain
  • ESL students or from local community
  • 8 instructors
  • 4 first-year TAs
  • 4 full-time instructors
  • Comfortable with Internet technologies

23
Two-Way Exchange Tasks
24
Spot-the-difference
25
Spot-the-difference
26
Procedure
  • Step 1
  • One student with one expert speaker
  • Initial contact via e-mail
  • Coordination of schedule with lab technician
  • Step 2
  • Two tasks
  • Spot-the-difference
  • Jigsawcomposing a story Robbery
  • Step 3
  • Language Lab
  • 5-7 minutes for preparation
  • 30-40 minutes for each pair
  • Reflection logs
  • One week via Digital Drop Box in Blackboard
  • Exit interview with the instructor

27
Audio Demonstration 1
28
Audio Demonstration 2
29
Video Demonstration 1
30
Video Demonstration 2
31
Video Demonstration 3
32
Promises and Challenges
33
Students Reactions
  • Every closer to face-to-face interaction
  • I was thrilled with real interaction with real
    people in a real time.
  • Listening to authentic input from NSs
  • It was so cool to be able to hear Spanish
  • from a distance.
  • Negotiation of meaning and form
  • I had difficulty understanding words that my
  • partner used and I had to ask many
  • questions to ensure my understanding of
  • these words. I learned how to interact with
  • the NS. It was quite interesting.

34
More Reactions
  • DVC was less personal and more distant as it
    did not allow you actually see the person.
  • I felt that I was talking to a stronger via
  • a computer screen.
  • I had never had the experience of dealing with
    people from other cultures.
  • Improvement
  • Meet their partners before executing the
  • assignments

35
  • It was hard for me to understand my partner. He
  • spoke very fast with a heavy Puerto Rican
  • accent. I was so nervous about not being able to
  • follow him that I had to constantly ask him to
  • repeat what he said during our exchanges. He
  • was patient but he did not seem to know how
  • to help me out. I think at the end he got a
    little bit
  • frustrated with me. I could tell by the tone of
    his
  • speech because he spoke louder.

36
Affective Support
  • More proficient students
  • I found DVC stimulating and worthwhile
    experience for becoming self confident when
    interacting with the native speakers.
  • I appreciated the immediate and
  • constructive voice feedback that I
  • received from my partner.

37
Affective Support
  • Less-skilled learners
  • Speaking Spanish with experts was anxiety
    provoking.
  • Knowing that my partner was a professor made me
    nervous about speaking to him.

38
Lexical Variations
  • NSDe qué color es su cachete?
  • NNSHuh? Cachete? Qué es?
  • NSParte de la cara. Creo que también se dice la
    mejilla.
  • NNSEs cheek?
  • NSCorrecto.
  • NNSLa mea es rosa. (Mine is pink).
  • NSLa mía es beige. Entonces, el color es
    diferente, no?

39
Pragmatic Awareness
  • NNSTú tienes un animal sobre el coche?
  • 2. NSQué animal?
  • 3. NNSUn animal come la manzana. Tú miras arriba
    el coche.
  • 4. NSHmm Estoy un poco confundida. Me podría
    describir el dibujo otra vez?
  • 5. NNSO.K. Si tú miras a la derecha, hay un
    animal. Creo que se dice guisano pero no estoy
    segura. Este animal le gusta comer manzanas.
  • 6. NSAy, ahora entiendo. Se dice gusano. No lo
    tengo pero tengo dos manzanas. Cuántas manzanas
    tiene?
  • 7. NNSSólo una.

40
L2 Pronunciation
  • NS accents
  • amol ? amor vela ? verdad
  • Learners pronunciation
  • Improvement
  • Desktop recorders in conjunction with sound
    (WAV) files

41
Non-verbal Communication Skills
  • No much use of body gestures (e.g., nodding the
    head) or voice (pitch or volume)
  • No eye-contact
  • Voice Projection
  • Improvement
  • Training

42
Other Challenges
  • Scheduling
  • Students
  • Teachers
  • Staff
  • Knowledgeable computer staff
  • Time consuming
  • How many hours?
  • Student buy-in

43
Recommendations
  • Commitment, commitment and commitment!!!
  • Finding good resources
  • Technology support--
  • Free software
  • Native speakers--teachers and students
  • Careful design for activities
  • Required assignments for your class part of your
    syllabus

44
Resources
  • Videoconferencing sites
  • http//www.ri.net/vidcon/resources.htm
  • Videoconferencing in Foreign Language Education
    by Robert ODowd
  • http//www3.unileon.es/personal/wwdfmrod/videoc.ht
    ml
  • Desktop videoconferencing and turn-taking
    strategies by Jason Firestone
  • http//www.geocities.com/jefirestone/index.html
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