French-American Virtual Exchange

They share their experience with us:

Students

Abigail Fashouer - University at Albany, SUNY

"I found the telecollaboration to be extremely educational. It was great to have the opportunity to talk with a native speaker, especially someone our own age. The telecollaboration really helped me step outside the box, and forced me to utilize my language skills in an environment outside the classroom. I really enjoyed the experience and it was a great way to gain conversational experience. I think this is an excellent activity and it should be implemented more often!"

Evgeniya Medvedeva - University at Albany, SUNY

"I would like to thank Fred and Veronique for making the telecollaboration with French students possible. I was excited and full of positive emotions. I know it's not an easy task to carry out a live conversation in France, but you did it perfectly. Although at first there were some things that didn't go very well, such as the sound, but eventually everything went off without a hitch.

Thank you!"
 

Josue Fernandez - University at Albany, SUNY

"Through the virtual-exchange, I was able to communicate with a French university student who provided me with all the up-to-date information about what was going on in France. I was able to interact with him very easily since he was the same age as me and therefore there wasn't any generational gap between us. Our conversations went well and they dealt with everything from our studies down to our families."

Anonymous - University at Albany, SUNY

"To have to speak with other people in class is hard because people cannot really correct you. When I talked to my French partner I was more aware of the mistakes I was making. I prefer activities like this when we truly have the experience of working on and practicing other skills."

"This type of activity is very effective. I wish we had a chance to do it more often."

Teachers

Véronique Martin - University at Albany, SUNY

"The desktop-based video conferences are a central component to the conversation course I teach. They provide students a rare and unique opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations with native speakers, test what they have learned in class and assess what they still need to work on. No amount of in-class discussion or role playing will yield the learning benefit of virtual synchronous discussions with native French speakers. These exchanges make learning French a more meaningful learning experience for the students."

Véronique Rahimi - Université de Haute Alsace, France

"I have been doing virtual exchanges with SUNY with Master students for about 3 years and it has been a very enriching experience. We started with the exchange of general topics and since last year we have been organizing debates and job interview role plays. Students are really enthusiastic and motivated to talk to native speakers. The benefits can be seen at different levels:
-French students get a better idea of their specific difficulties in English. In class when they have a language problem they can ask other students or the teacher for help while they are in front of the webcam they are on their own and they have to find a solution at all costs to get their message across
-Role playing interviews are very rewarding because students experience something that is going to be useful when they start job-hunting. I expect students to take our work seriously and they do.
To put it in a nutshell I would say that virtual exchanges motivates students and make them aware of the importance of learning English. Of course all this work would not be possible without the help from our tech mentors and their commitment."

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