6. How to use chat

Chat in language teaching
 Types of chat
 Chat programs
 Why use chat in language teaching?
 How to start using text or voice chat with
 How to structure a text or voice chat
 A sample text chat lesson plan
Chat is to exchange messages with someone
using a computer so that you are able to see
each other’s messges immediately,especially
on the internet
Chat has enormous potential to link students
around the world, in real time.
The teacher can link up classes and groups in
different locations, as part of collaborative
project work or for one-off chat sessions.
One most important issue to bear in mind is
that using chat needs to have a clear purpose
for learners.
Text chat,
Communication between chat user takes place via
typed chat.
Audio or Voice chat,
Communication between chat users takes place via
audio, much like a phone conversation.
Public chat,
There are innumerable public chat rooms on the
internet, on a huge variety of topics, which user can
Private chat (instant messaging),
This requires the installation of a client program,
which connect individual user over internet.
Free topic chats,
There is no topic or agenda set for the chat.
 Collaborative, task-oriented chat
Learners meet via chat out of class to complete a real
 Informative or academic chats
For example, a learner or teacher gives a presentation on
a topic via chat. This approach works well in the context
of a blended learning solution(meet online and face to
 Practice chats,
These chats will practise a specific function or form of
language, or a specific skill or strategy, and will probably
take place out of class time. Example are : a voice chat
practising a telephone job interview or indeed any
telephone situasion, circumlocution to describe an object,
practising pronuncation faeture via voice chat.
How to download Skype
Does using text or voice chat with
learners improve their English ?
 What kind of English should learners use
in chat ?
 What technical skills do teachers and
learners need to be able to use chat ?
 What benefits does the use of chat bring
to the classroom ?
 Is it better to use text or voice chat with
learners ?
Researchs has shown that by using it can
improve learners’ language abilities.
 Chat text providing opportunities for
negotiating meaning, seen as a key to
language acquisition by many linguists.
 Voice chat is more likely to make
learners produce more fluent language.
Common abbreviation use in text chat
- btw for by the way
- CU L8r for See you later
 Some basic rules of netiquette
-How to behave online and some
common conventions
 For more examples of conventions ,look
at pages 75 and 76 on your text book.
Text chat
Voice chat
Use ? To ask the floor
Use a convention to ask for the
floor – this could be via text, or a
special phrase such as turn please
Use ‘...’ at the end of your
sentence to show that you have
not finished a contribution
Use a special phrase or word such
as Over or Done to show when you
have finished speaking
Use ‘.’ at the end of your sentence
to show that you have finished a
One participant should be
responsible for taking notes during
the chat
Use square brackets [ ] to make an The moderator can nominate
aside to another participant, or off- quieter participants by name to
topic remark
Expalin abbreviations the first time
you use them in a chat, e.g. Btw=
by the way
Knowing where and how to type
comment in a chat window for text chat.
 How to use a microphone and speaker
or a headset, in voice chat.
 Typing ability
 Connection speed to transmit and
receive audio and video data
Text chat
Voice chat
Leaners may already
use text chat at home
Learners may already
use voice chat at
Bring current
technology into
Bring current
technology into
Use a new tool can be
motivating for learners
Use a new tool can be
motivating for learners
Enables learners to
make contact with
learners in other
Enables learners to
make contact with
learners in other
A low tech option
‘Real’ oral practice of
Non-threatening and easy to use
Voice chat software
increasingly easy to
download and use
Chat transcipt can be used later
for language analysis
Text chat can be chaotic
turns,disjointed,topic decay..)
Suitable for very small groups
Unclear whether text chat really
improves learners’English.
Realiable broadband internet
connection needed
Do we need to teach chat speak Recording a chat may be
complex and require other
Can be difficult to identify errors
vs typos vs non-standard chat
Weaker typist are put at a
Install and learn to use the software
 A practice chat class
 Contact with another class
Skype group video call
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wp2
How to make free video call
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7M5
An introductory/warmer phase
This phase may include detailed
introductions and exchange of personal
information if learners are chatting together
for the first time, or it may consist of a simple
exchange of information, such as ‘What
was the best thing you did last weekend ?’
for learners who have already chatted in
the past. This stage serves to set the scene
and acts as an icebreaker.
The main content of the chat
This may consist of one main task, or a series
of short tasks, which learners need to
complete, and cuold be based on a
worksheet which learners have been given
before chat. See the sample chat lesson on
page 80.
 A closing stage
In this stage learners may summaries what
they have covered or achieved in the chat,
and say goodbye. The teacher might have
set a brief closing task, such as asking
learners to tell each other one thing they
have enjoyed about the chat
Before the class
1. Make contact with the teacher of a
similar class in term of level, class size and
access to technology
2. Learners also need to be confident
about how to use the chat program.
3. With the teacher of other class, set a
time for the chat.
4. Try out with other teacher before class
Class room management issues
1. Ideally learners are put in pairs for the first chat.
2. Learners can either conduct the cat in pairs, or
consecutive learners can be allowed access to the same
computer for a certain amount of time
3. Using voice chat rather than text chat in the single
computer classroom
 During the cat
1. Provide hand out worksheet
2. Each learner has a slightly different worksheet
3. Asking questions on their worksheet
4. Print out their chat script and complete the worksheet
from that, once the cat is finished.
 After chat
1. Display their profile in the classroom separately
2 Create learner profile in an inter-class blog (see chapter
Try the software out in the computer room with the
class before setting up the real time chat
Make contact before class using blogs project or
Set a clear task
The purpose of using chat is to connect people who
geographically far apart
The ideal group size, about 6 to 8 people for text
chat, and 3 to 5 people for voice chat.
Record the chat. Recording chats makes the whole
experience less ephemeral, and provides a basis via
the transcript or audio recording for later language
Have a contingency plan, have a backup plan to do
something else with your leaners if your school’s i
nternet connection is down.

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