Skype – a technological innovation now also being used for language tuition
A whole range of innovations have recently appeared in the field of language tuition and so, as well as e-learning in many forms, companies now offer new products based on internet technologies. This includes tuition using the popular Skype communication technology. The Skřivánek language school is one of the first to actively organise such courses.
Skype and education
The advantages of Skype technologies can be utilised for both communication and education. For instance, long-distance language courses over Skype are an innovation in the field of language education, organised by the Skřivánek language school. Skřivánek offers independent courses over Skype as well as courses combined with classic tuition or as an alternative to a cancelled hour, for instance due to illness, business trips etc.
How does such a class take place?
Before commencing a Skype class the Skřivánek language school lecturer sends the client the exercises that the student is to prepare for the class at least 24 hours in advance, by e-mail.
The student and the lecturer will then both be at their computers at the arranged hour, whether this is in the comfort of their own homes, in their offices or even on a bench in the park.
A computer with an internet connection, the Skype program installed and functional headphones are all that is needed to launch the class.
For effective classes the Skřivánek language school also recommends a web camera and a program for recording Skype calls so that the student can review the lecture at any time.
The class may be either simply conversation or a traditional class, which includes all skills. During the lecture the lecturer and the student exchange and send exercises, learn pronunciation or simultaneously work with suitable internet sources – classic on-line chatting is also available, and permits work with written text on-line. With respect to the potential of Skype technologies we are also able to organise group classes for 2 – 3 students at the same time, using the Skype Conference function. In such cases the lecturer also directs traditional group exercises and discussions among individual students.
Jana Kadlíková, the Skřivánek language school methodologist, summarises all the advantages of this form of tuition: “Skype tuition is an amazing, flexible method for those people who are unable or unwilling to attend courses regularly. Students can study practically anywhere and at any time, it all depends on reaching an agreement between the lecturer and the student. The lecturer can train the student in all skills, the method of learning listening and verbal skills is absolutely unique to this system. Another advantage of this form of tuition is the fact that lecturers can alternate during one course, and the student has the opportunity to experience various lecturing methods.”
In answer to the question for what language skill level the courses are suitable, Kadlíková adds: “The Skřivánek language school has both Czech lecturers and native speakers available, who teach using Skype technologies, which provides undeniable advantages to the student. Even though this form of tuition is not completely suitable for absolute beginners, ‘false beginners’ (level A2) can use this method with success. I heartily recommend this type of effective study to all students who have problems with regular attendance or have a lot of work.”
For whom are Skype courses suitable?
Apart from the above-named groups of students who cannot attend classes for work or personal reasons, these courses are suitable for mothers on maternity leave, people with reduced mobility and inhabitants of smaller towns or villages, who are a long way from the language school. Tuition is particularly effective for employees who frequently communicate by means of the telephone or video-conferencing, or for employees who are frequently on business trips away from their offices.
The Skřivánek language school offers courses over Skype for all main languages on 5 language levels, from beginners (A2) to experts (C2).
Tuition is offered in the form of pre-paid packages, where the client can purchase 5, 10, 20 or 30 hours, which he/she then uses gradually. The more hours the client purchases, the more advantageous the tuition is. Naturally, it is also possible to purchase individual hours, our offer is very flexible. The Skřivánek language school offers companies Skype tuition made to measure to the needs of each company individually.
For more information, contact any Skřivánek branch.
What is Skype?
Skype is a program for communication over the internet, along with ICQ, MSN etc. it belongs in the instant messenger group of programs, which usually enable on-line chatting between two or more people, and which can be used to send files or SMS and make telephone calls over the internet. Skype is a top-quality program with all these abilities.
Skype has several advantages in comparison with the competition. The transfer of all data (files, chatting and voice transfer) is coded and there is no need to suspect that messages or calls are falling into the wrong hands. Skype will pass through most firewalls, proxy servers, etc (instruments for protecting the network against hackers). Skype’s competitors usually fail at these barriers.