Welcome to the EUROCALL 2007 Virtual Strand Blog Site

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Show & Tell Sessions

It was an interesting idea to have the late afternoon's Show & Tell sessions in one huge room,
The Diamond. The Show & Tell booths were side by side around the room, and it was very easy to move from one presentation to another. Also, the presently on-going programme was shown on a big screen, and it was easy to find what you wanted to hear.
The sessions also finished on time - thanks to the efficient reminder system, I thought. Actually, it was probably either the fire or burglar alarm. But it finished the first presentations conveniently at 17:55.

I must say that for me it was very difficult to concentrate on the presentations as
the noise from other presentations and people moving about in the central area really
disturbed me. And there were surprisingly few people attending - especially in the beginning. Is it because people were still arriving or were they perhaps having a short rest after the workshops and before the evening's cocktail party?
It is very good that new ideas are tried in Eurocall conferences, but these kinds of "fair-like" Show & Tell sessions still need some development for the next conference.

Here are some of the presentations I heard:

Kent Andersen talked about the POOLS project, which is developing teacher training courses based on pools of materials for nine languages. The Pools people believe in "copyleft", which means that everything they have done and put on their web pages is freely usable and editable by anyone - provided that the new material is also kept copyleft.

You can download many things from the POOLS site, use and re-use and work on them (but remember the "copyleft" principle!). There are e.g. courseware manuals, also on methodology.

See http://www.languages.dk

* * * * *

Anna Kyppö, a slovak teacher from Finland, talked about her Virtual Slovak course, in which
she has used the mountain and climbing as metaphors for learning Slovak. The course starts from a base camp and goes up to Camp 10.
What is very interesting, is that she has used two students of slovak in the making of the course material. Anna said that every teacher working on an online course or online material, should consult the students from the very beginning. After all, it is the students that the materials we make are meant for. And I quite agree with her!
You can take a look at the Virtual Slovak pages (still an unfinished version) at
* * * * *
Myles O'Brien talked about a Flash-based program called SoundBighter, which he has created
for language teaching. With SoundBighter you can select sections (ten altogether) of a sound
file and play them. The editing data or configuration is stored in a separate text file so
that you can use it later on over the internet or on a local computer.
The program could be used for making listening exercises, e.g. dividing a longer piece into
convenient sections or focusing on important parts.
As everything is based on Flash, all the sound files must be in mp3 format (Flash will only
play mp3s). The program is free for anyone to use online or download at
http://www.mylesobrien.com/sb/ (you can find there everything you need).


Matthewjabsalom@gmail.com said...

As one of the show-and-tellers I think the sessions were a great idea but agree that they need development...it was challenging to speak over the growing noise but a good chance to do something a little less formal...our session was well attended and we had time for a few questions...

Great idea leaving the booths available for the duration of the conference...

Lesley said...

I think this format was very much like the electronic village that runs at TESOL - at least that's what it reminded me of. It's well-established at other conferences, then, and the noise is something that eventually you get used to once you've done it often enough. The good thing is that it gives more people an opportunity to present than would be otherwise possible.