Language Log

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Virtual Learning Group 1st Session

Virtual Learning Group 1st Session

Virtual Learning Group 1st Session

Chaos. Excitement. Sound issues. French or English? Voice chat or text chat? Totally absorbed students. Can’t wait for Session two..

The 1st session of the Virtual Learning group was successful but not exactly smooth; chaotic would be a better description. The session had been well organised with a clear structure but some things are unpreditable. We had technical issues, specifically the sound. The sound worked for some but not for others. For several students the voice chat worked only in a private call not in a local call. Nevertheless, there was a lot of interaction, a lot of French and English was exchanged and there was never a dull moment. The students were very focused although a few were frustated by the sound issues but these were overcome; they either used the text chat (still very useful for language practise I think) or used private voice chat to talk to the French students in pairs.

This was a “getting to know each other” session and each student had previously sent in a powerpoint slide with a few photos to represent their life which were then put on notice boards. The students were put into groups of 4 and their main tasks were to introduce themselves to the group, using the photos on the boards, and then to chat to other members of the group about their photos and their lives. We had decided to use EdunationI as the plots are sound tight but I think perhaps this was a mistake and we will be using the LSE Island from now on. Université Blaise Pascal’s site is probably too small for so many avatars whereas the LSE Island is much larger and there is more freedom to move around. The idea was for the groups to stay in one area next to their group’s notice board and to use the seats provided (see photo above) but not all the students wanted to stay put or to sit down. This did create some confusion and it was not always clear who was talking to who. This problem I think can be solved by giving groups more space to move around in.

We are testing and investigating the sound issues this week and I really hope we can have the problems solved by next Monday for session two so that we can concentrate on the tasks and language exchange.


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