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I know that language learning is dependent on hearing the spoken language as much as the written. How do you expose your students to speech by native speakers? Do your students have electronic penpals?


I'm sure my sob story is getting old, but...

I unfortunately have very little technology resources as an 8th grade World Language teacher. I have one computer in my classroom that is out-dated and has very limited capabilities. In addition, teachers have no ability to download and little if any input pertaining to tech. Furthermore, we now have 3 tech labs. They are dedicated primarily to technology class and secondarily to online reading/la and science gepa practice. This year, I have requested scheduling flexibility for all world language classes. It will be tough, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

As a result, the only exposure to native speakers that my students receive is via cd's that accompany the text that I play on a cd player, some videos (that's IF I can secure a tv!) and authentic music cd's. Electronic penpals has always seemed like a great idea to me. I have given it some thought, but without consistent access to the labs, it hasn't been able to happen. I do believe that e-pals may be better suited for higher level language learners (hs and college). In 8th grade, my students have received a fragmented program since 1st grade. If the intent were to stay in the target language, I think it would probably be quite difficult for them. If I ever had the opportunity to implement such a program, it would need to be VERY carefully designed with guided formating and topics (at least to start). The scope of learning new vocabulary is so very vast, that I think it would be extremely challenging to cover all the bases.

[ report as inappropriate ] August 7, 2006, 12:00 am

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