Chat in language teaching Types of chat Chat programs Why use chat in language teaching? How to start using text or voice chat with leaners How to structure a text or voice chat lesson 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 join. 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 task. 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 face) 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 contribution 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 contribute. 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 Advantages Text chat Voice chat Leaners may already use text chat at home Learners may already use voice chat at home Bring current technology into classroom Bring current technology into classroom 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 countries Enables learners to make contact with learners in other countries A low tech option ‘Real’ oral practice of language Non-threatening and easy to use Voice chat software increasingly easy to download and use Chat transcipt can be used later for language analysis Disadvantag es Text chat can be chaotic (overlapping turns,disjointed,topic decay..) Suitable for very small groups only 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 software Can be difficult to identify errors vs typos vs non-standard chat speak Weaker typist are put at a disadvantage Install and learn to use the software A practice chat class Contact with another class http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evv HXRtKA8o&feature=related Skype group video call http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wp2 Y83mDSRY&feature=related How to make free video call http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7M5 yOYqwCXo&NR=1 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 7) 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 email. 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 analysis, Have a contingency plan, have a backup plan to do something else with your leaners if your school’s i nternet connection is down.