Improving the World: Classroom to Classroom - Culture to Culture

Did your classroom ever speak with a classroom in another country? 

Some teachers here in Saudi Arabia have tried this with English classes using Skype or similar video broadcasting services.  Geography or Social Studies students in the UK, Australia, South Africa or North America may like to Skype with your English class. We all can benefit from learning about other cultures.  Wars usually happen between strangers, not between friends.  As we meet people across the world, our friendships help to make the planet safer.

Do you think this would be fun? Let's think about what you might expect if you did this. 

1.  Can you think of any benefits you and your class may gain?

2.  Can you think of any harm that this may cause?

3.  What problems could you expect?  Will the differences in time zones be a problem for you? How can you work around time differences?

4.  How will you contact the teacher in the English speaking country?

If you like this idea please comment with your answers to some of these questions.  There are classes here in the KSA that would love to try such a thing and I think many in your country would also like to speak with students their own age in other countries. 

I can see English Club as a possible spot to assist with such contacts, if we the members make some good suggestions.  There are good teacher organizations in many countries that could help spread the word to teachers that might be interested in participating.

If you are a teacher and interested in this project please reply here.  As a group we just may be able to make this possible for many students.

My suggestions for a better quality experience if you try this:

a.  have a good web camera and good lighting in the classroom (if you use a projector for the video try to have some lighting on your own students so they can be seen by the class a world  away)

b.  test your camera and microphone on Skype with another teacher's computer to see if everyone can hear and see each other well.

c.  consider recording your event so you can show school administrators and parents (a recording should also help if you need money to improve your equipment by showing what you are doing)

I will give more comments about the classes that already tried this if I see people are interested in doing this on their own.

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Comment by AReality on June 5, 2014 at 10:00

I use skype and have few friends whom i talk to, these friends are from different time zone, and it no matter, we adjust for meeting, but it is not a regular class, we generally talk various topics, but the benefit itself is great,my English spoken skill increases day by day and i can easily communicate. Thanx for starting this greatest task.

Comment by Ejaz Ahmed on August 2, 2013 at 7:28

great work

Comment by SAMA on August 1, 2013 at 8:49

A really GOOD idea. I wish that I can join you. SKPY is blocked in my country.

Comment by Dieu Trang on May 11, 2013 at 16:30

Thank Bob, good idea.

Here is good place for that

Comment by Rosenmaiden on March 22, 2013 at 16:09

Hello, Bob!

Excellent idea! I also sometimes think about it - the English club is really a good place for this kind of communication. Sorry, I do not teach English. :-(


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Comment by nida on March 15, 2013 at 7:57

Sounds really interesting!

Any such projects would greatly help students improve their English language skills. In the meantime, students would explore issues related to globalization, development, poverty, and social inequity from many different perspectives.


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Comment by Nadira on March 8, 2013 at 3:56

Yes  o f course  it would  be  fun  and  motivate  the student  showing  them  of  t he minus and  plus  points  of the other , thus learning  through  it ......


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Comment by Syubidupapap on March 8, 2013 at 3:07

I got an idea! You can work things out with her

http://my.englishclub.com/profiles/blogs/dear-ec-teachers

Good luck!

Comment by Mr. Bob on March 6, 2013 at 16:22

Thanks for the nice comments.  I will say that there are about 2 hours of video from the teachers who first tried this.  While I was watching some of this video I noticed the problems with lighting and some issues with sound quality.  I don't expect we will ever have a perfect meeting between classrooms, but I just add those issues so that you can prepare if you want to try it.

If any teachers want to try this, please let me know.


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Comment by Robbie on March 6, 2013 at 9:19

Sounds a marvelous project, Teacher Bob! This would be a great idea to practice everyone's English and at the same time, improve the self-confidence of students on communicating via Skype. Good luck! : )

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