Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Web 2.0 Assignment - Facebook Chat

For my first Web 2.0 project, I unexpectedly participated in my first Facebook Chat.  While I was in high school, I participated in a student exchange to Costa Rica for a month.  A friend (Costa Rican, or Tico) who I met while I was there sent me a Facebook instant message on Monday.  This was a learning process for me because it was my first time using Facebook Chat, and because we were conversing in Spanish.  At one point, I ask Fabian what he is doing these days, and he answers "trabajo con mi familia en un proyecto de desarrollo inmobiliario" (I work with my family on a real estate project).  I wasn't sure what "desarrollo inmobiliario" meant, so I used another website, freetranslation.com, to find out that it mean "real estate". 
  Additionally, what was interesting to me was when Fabian used Spanish "slang".  For example, he uses the Costa Rican slang "tuaniz" which means "cool" in English. Just as our students use slang online or in oral discussion, speakers of other languages use slang.  Slang, in this case, does not diminish the authenticity of the interactions and the value of the learning that took place in this conversation. As teachers we need to sometimes allow students to express themselves by whatever means they feel comfortable.
The literacy practices that I used were discussing and sharing information using digital technology.  One challenge that I had during this conversation was technology-related.  My friend, Fabian kept getting kicked offline throughout our chat, which interrupted the conversation.  In fact, our conversation ends abruptly and awkwardly because he got kicked offline and never returned.  My assumption would be that he was at an internet café because most people in Costa Rica don't have internet in their homes.  
What I took from this experience that could be valuable to me in terms of pedagogy is that as a Spanish, ESOL, or elementary teacher, I can use tools such as online chats for my students to communicate authentically with people or students from around the world.  Technology problems aside, this could be an extremely valuable tool for teachers that can be used in many, many contexts.  As a Spanish teacher, for example, I might set my students up with a foreign pen-pal with whom they could practice their Spanish.
The conversation follows.
Fabian (1:39 pm)
  hola shanny pura vida!
Shannon (1:39 pm)
Fabian (1:39 pm)
como estas?
Shannon (1:41 pm)
muy bien
y tu?
Fabian (1:41 pm)
bien bien!!!!
cuando nos vienes a visitar!
Shannon (1:42 pm)
espero que pueda venir después de terminar la universidad... en un año más o menos
Fabian (1:46 pm)
Shannon (1:47 pm)
quiero quedarme allí por un año para enseñar inglés
Fabian (1:47 pm)
en serio ah que bien fijo encuentras trabajo!!!
seria demasiaso tuaniz tenerte un año aquí!!
Shannon (1:49 pm)
sí sí sí
y qué pasa con tú?
está trabajando?
Fabian (1:52 pm)
si ahora trabajo con mi familia en un proyecto de desarrollo inmobiliario y estudio derecho y economía
Fabian (1:53 pm)
shanny que bien hblas espanol
Shannon (1:55 pm)
tomé muchísimas clases de español.. jaja

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