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


At Hull-based 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 ran a video conferencing session on 20th May to bring together her Hull 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 from ULH’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 videoconferencing 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.