28th April 1999

 

STUDENTS ON-LINE FOR LANGUAGE LEARNING

 

Video-conferencing is becoming popular as a way of bringing people together without the cost and inconvenience of long-distance travel.

 

At the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside a senior languages lecturer is using the new technology to improve the language learning of her British and international students.

 

Tricia Coverdale-Jones will make her first visit to America in June to speak at a conference on the effectiveness of video links in language learning and its effect on communication.

 

Following a pilot last year she plans to use video-conferencing in May to bring together her language students and German students from the Fachhochschule Anhalt in the former East Germany.

 

“A video link is a vast improvement on talking on the telephone,” said Mrs Coverdale-Jones. “Although it is not as effective as talking face to face, it enables groups of students to talk together.”

 

Cash for the project came for the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside’s Learning and Development Teaching Fund. To get the video link up and running a video camera, software and a licence had to be bought.

 

Picture delays can be a factor for video-conferencing but Mrs Coverdale-Jones said that sound delays, which could impede speech, were not a problem during the pilot experiment last year.

 

The languages lecturer is now working on establishing links with institutions in Sweden and Finland to expand language learning for students.

 

Mrs Coverdale-Jones will submit an article on video-conferencing to the journal of the International Association for Language Learning.

 

Ends

 

Sam Hendley

Press Officer

Tel: 01522 886042