As a teacher of English as a foreign language, I have always worked at English language institutes and have learned about the importance of developing students’ communication skills, writes guest post blogger, Samantha Berredo. In order to do that, it is very important to have group work and / or pair work. Of course, I am not saying it is bad or it doesn’t work, it does. However, we know some students pretend they are talking and do not take advantage of this kind of activity properly. Because of this, I started searching for options on how to improve my students’ communication skills, collaboration skills, engagement, critical thinking and creativity. I found a great community of teachers who use this tool to connect their students with others all over the world. It is not only English teachers who connect their students. Teachers of all subjects that use English as a medium of instruction and native speakers connect for culture exchange, topic discussion, games between classes , virtual field trips, lessons with specialists and whatever your imagination says.
Students from different parts of the world, who beforehand may have been remote and unattainable, are now able to connect straight from their desks. Students are able to develop relationships, gain a deep understanding of foreign cultures and increase their global awareness. Students are encouraged and empowered to formulate their own means of problem-solving, broaden the parameters of conventional learning and critical thinking, obtain communicative skills and become proper citizens of the world.
– Randall, J
Using different kinds of activities make learning a language more meaningful and engaging. Even my shiest student wanted to participate asking questions. Curiosity comes up and they want to use the language. Learning a language with peers from all over the world is much interesting and fun.
- Randall, J (2018). 5 Great ways students benefit from Global Collaboration. Available at: https://www.iste.org/
- Seabrook, T (2017). How your students can benefit from global collaboration. Available at: ttps://stateoftheart.creatubbles.com/2017/04/27/students-can-benefit-global-collaboration/
About the writer :
Samantha Berredo de Oliveira is an English teacher and has been teaching English as a foreign language for 18 years. She is a Global Educator and a MIEExpert. She has taught at schools and language institutes. Samantha created a group on Facebook to motivate teachers in Brazil to use Skype in their classes too. She is also a volunteer at a public school in her city with a Skype club project.