Skype for Literacy and Language Learning: “How To” Tips and Best Practices for Teachers

February 21, 2012

Sarah Eaton, literacy, languages, language, ESL, EAL, keynote, speaker, presenter, Canada, Alberta, English, educationAfter doing a number of workshops and research on how to use Skype for literacy and international languages, I’ve put together a free, downloadable guide for teachers and tutors.

Here’s what is in the guide:

  • Introduction
    • Technical requirements
    • Thinking about a computer-to-computer call
    • Skype versus other technologies
    • Skype-enabled handsets
  • Set up your Skype account
  • Add Contacts
  • Make a Skype call
  • Advanced features
    • Conference calls
    • Instant messaging or chat
    • File sharing
    • Screen Sharing
  • Ideas on how you can use Skype
    • Personal use
    • Organizational use
    • Marketing your programs
    • Teaching
    • Tutoring
  • Conclusions
  • Bibliography (includes 22 citations)

Check out the guide and download it from Scribd:

View this document on Scribd

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


Using Skype in the Second and Foreign Language Classroom – Follow up

August 12, 2010

I was thrilled to be invited to present at the Social Media Workshop organized by the Language Acquisition Resource Center at San Diego State University.

Here are the slides from today’s presentation:

You can download the handouts from the session here.

Check out the recording of the session, too.

And if you’re doing research on using Skype for education, then you might be interested in the research paper that I wrote to go along with the presentation.

Also, for the first time, I put together a Diigo list of online bookmarks for this session. Check out all the resources I archived for you on my list “Skype for Educators”.

Here’s what people said about the webinar:

“I have used Skype for about a year to communicate with family during travel. Pointing out that Skype is easy to use for those less versed in new technology is important. People need to feel comfortable and the technology is invisible so that communication is the focus. With the globalization of education it is important that we maintain strong human connections and include both the older generation and the new digital natives.” – Denise Foures-Aalbu, USA

“Dr. Sarah provided participants with many useful ideas. Her enthusiasm encouraged others to add their ideas to the list. Well done, Dr. Sarah!” – Scott Miatech, Waterford, WI, USA

“Dr. Eaton did a wonderful and engaging presentation for our 2010 LARC Summer Social Media Workshop.  She provided motivation for participants to dive right into Skype and practical activities for the language classroom.  LARC hopes to continue collaborating with Sarah in the future and exploring the outer limits of distance education!” – Evan Rubin, LARC, San Diego State University.

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


Using Skype for second language debates: Ideas for teachers

August 9, 2010

Two of the trends in language learning I found while researching Global Trends in Language Learning in the 21st Century were using technology for language learning and an increased focus on demonstrating language competence through speech and stories, debates and speaking competitions. How about combining the two?

I’ve been busy preparing my presentation on Using Skype in the Second and Foreign Language Classroom for the Social Media Workshop for language teachers put on by the Language Acquisition Resource Centre (LARC) at San Diego State University.

During my travels I came across Lois Smethurt’s blog. She has an excellent post on how she used Skype for an inter-school debate. She talks about the students’ reaction to the experience, as well as the logistics of putting together an inter-school debate using Skype.

I loved this idea for language learning. We can organize debates not only between schools, but between countries, too. Check out Sue Water’s blog post on how to connect with schools and classrooms in other countries using Skype. She offers an amazing resource list for teachers from around the world to connect using Skype.

Between them, these two insightful, innovative Edubloggers offer us the ingredients to put together inter-classroom, international second language debates using synchronous technology that allows students to use real language in real time.

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


Social Media Workshop for Language Educators – LARC, SDSU

August 4, 2010

Calling all Language Educators!

The Language Acquisition Resource Center at San Diego State University is organizing

Social Media Workshop
Date: August 9 – 13, 2010
Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm (Pacific Time Zone)
 – 10:00 – 17:00 (Calgary / Mountain Time Zone)

This is an online event, open to all educators at no cost.

I was thrilled when they contacted me and invited me to do a presentation on using Skype in the Second and Foreign Language Classroom. So if you missed the first Skype webinar, this one may be of interest, as it will cover much of the same material.

But forget my session, check out all the other great sessions. Here are just a few that will be offered:

  • Michelle Olah & Catalina Bohorquez – Social Media Tools for Collaboration
  • Glenn Cake – Online Class and Digital Story Telling through PhotoStory 3
  • Ronnie Burt – Using Blogs To Enhance Student Learning
  • Evan Rubin – Mobile Devices, Social Media, and Language Learning Dicsussion
  • Chris Brown – Classroom Narrative: Twitter in a Spanish 3 Class

I’m looking forward to learning all I can about using social media in foreign language teaching. Come join me?

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


New York Times: Learning a language on the web is trendy

July 29, 2010

“The Internet, with its unparalleled ability to connect people throughout the world, is changing the way that many people learn languages” writes Peter Wayner in Learning a Language From an Expert, on the Web, an article from the New York Times (July 28, 2010).

The article touches on 2 of the themes that emerged in my study Global Trends in Language Learning in the 21st Century:

  • Using technology in language learning (new trend)
  • Taking an individualized, learner-centered approach (new trend)
  • Saying that learning languages is easy (outdated myth)

The way we learn languages is changing at a rapid pace. A new school year is approaching. What techniques, methodologies and approaches are you going to use that are appropriate for the 21st century?

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


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