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LSS chats. In class – either in a classroom with wireless connectivity or in a computer lab 1 st and 2 nd semester French and Italian. Typical Topics/Tasks. Favorite Restaurants Find out the favorite restaurant for each person in your group? Personal Descriptions (anonymous)
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LSS chats • In class – either in a classroom with wireless connectivity or in a computer lab • 1st and 2nd semester French and Italian
Typical Topics/Tasks • Favorite Restaurants • Find out the favorite restaurant for each person in your group? • Personal Descriptions (anonymous) • Try to guess the real name of each person in your group by asking about their personality, likes and dislikes, etc.
What do you have to say about chat? • What do FL researchers say? • What do FL teachers say? • What do FL students say? • What does LSS say?
FL Researchers* say chat • Increases participation • Encourages risk-taking, experimentation, and creativity • Is considered “less threatening than F2F interaction” • Decreases off-topic and first language use * Smith, B. (2005) – gives a recent overview of research on chat in foreign language classrooms
Teachers say that chat • Changes the participation dynamic • Useful for needs assessment (transcripts) • Provides ideas/topics for future lessons • Provides a welcome diversion from textbook learning
Students say • “This is cool.” • “We should do this all the time.” • “Where did the UW get all the money for these things?” • “Wait, how do I do this, again?” • “I want one of these things.”
LSS says that • Instructor and student training is essential • Supporting chats can be time intensive • It is important to choose the right chat client
Our Chat Client - IRC LSS uses an “ancient, hoary, grey-bearded”* chat client called IRC • Advantages • Free clients for all of our devices (handhelds, laptops) • Easy to control access • Plays well with our server • Disadvantages • Does not support Unicode • Ancient, hoary, and grey-bearded * Browning, Bruno (2005) personal communication
Are in-class chats just for language teaching? Would an in-class chat be useful for a class that • Discusses controversial/difficult topics? • Has reticent discussion sections? • Lacks in depth-discussion or adequate participation? • Needs more accountability in class discussions?