Comme le monde est petit
I am really happy to be 32 in 2009 ( did I say 32? I meant 21 of course!!) for one reason : the Internet (with a capital letter to show how much respect I have for it). You are going to ask me why I like the Internet so much. I will answer to you in only a few words (you see I am not so boring after all!), it is because it makes the world very small.
Although I live in New Zealand in the middle of nowhere ( my neighbors are cows, literally speaking) I feel in the center of the world, thanks to the Internet.
I would say a month ago (maybe 2) I met @msfrenchteach on Twitter. An one day I asked who wanted to work on an online work using etherpad. @msfrenchteach answered quickly and after calculating the difference between our times ( oooops I have forgotten to say that @msfrenchteach is in the US) we made an online appointment.
I picked my year 12 French (their 4th year of French) and told them roughly what we will be doing (couldn’t tell much because I wasn’t sure of what will be happening). So here they are at school at 8 am (we start usually at 8.30) ready to work. Skype and etherpad are on. So after a few minutes giggling (teenagers the same everywhere!!) they were ready to work hard. We spent one hour online asking each other questions. I was just here to help them in case of emergency, like a dictionary. I have to admit I was so proud of them. I was looking at them working with pleasure, they were so excited to speak with other people so far away. And I know they were not lying because at the end they asked me when we will do that again.
When I said to people about this experience they all asked why I didn’t do that with a French school. Easy to answer. When you are 15 or 16 you don’t feel very confident and you know that your level of French is not very high. Why would I have put them in front of kids who speak fluently French. Realistically we all know how boring it is to speak with people who just start to learn a language, it requires a lot of patience that you don’t have when you are 16. But I do believe that you feel ok when you speak with people who have the same level of language as you ( hope that what I write makes sense!!, bloody French can’t even write English properly ☺ )
This experience was wonderful for me and the students and we can not wait that @msfrenchteach has finished her summer holiday (we are so selfish) to have another online collaboration