On the 31/03/10 we held a successful videoconference at school between the French and English sides of our French work experience exchange. We set up 15 web cams on our side, with the students sharing in pairs, whilst the French side used one web cam interchanging the students as they took their place to speak. Time was tight given the only mutually convenient time was 8.30 am to 9.00am that morning. However, 10 of the students from the Weald of Kent Grammar School held conversations in French with their corresponding partners in France. Eventually no photos were uploaded from the French side but the time was used with the English students posing questions in French to the French students about their on coming stay in France in June. At first the students were nervous to take part and speak on camera, however, they were eventually encouraging us to use as much of the time as possible to allow as many students to take part. All in all a successfull videoconference which we hope to follow up with another before June so the French side can practise their English.
This has been a successful use of our recent purchase of 15 web cams for the MFL department and we hope to integrate their use in other exchanges across the department. Videoconferencing provides students with authentic language experiences which help improve their confidence in the use of the target language.
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