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Title of the Experience
Teaching about Spain with online tools
Name of the teacher
Darina Dolešová
Country where it took place
School typology
Lower Secondary School
Thematic Area
Experience typology
Online Learning
Type of contact
Description of the Experience
In teaching geography of tourism, I like to see when students have the opportunity to talk about the country with a person from that particular country. I looked for opportunities how to make this possible. Through one of our students who studies abroad, I managed to get in touch with a student who comes from Spain. He was willing to talk about his country through Skype so we had an online conversation.
Both students and I have already had experience of such a lesson, as we have conducted two Skype interviews before (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nepal).
1. Positives first - those things that have been proven:
• It is good to prepare certain themes for the international participants. Then these topics will be discussed. It is also possible to send them the presentation about the country which I have prepared beforehand. This way they know better what to be prepared for.
• It was proven to me to inform the students before the conversation with the international participants about the basic data about the country, the problems that occur in the country and alert them to the squeamish topics that should rather be avoided.
2. Negatives - problems to be ready for:
• Ensuring the technical equipment - must reckon with the fact that something will almost certainly fail!
• Must therefore be able to have internet back up (rather connect to wi-fi and have wired connection ready as a backup), have camera and PC ready.
Both students and I have already experience of such a class, as we have had two such interviews conducted (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nepal). Both were through Skype.
From the previous lesson students have already had basic information on tourism in Spain and about the country in general. They have seen the major centers in the presentation of the most interesting places of Spain. Their task for the next class was to get ready for the interview. Everyone should think about what he or she would like to learn about the topic and to prepare a few questions about this country (about nature, monuments, cities, living standards, young people's lives ...).
We set aside 30 minutes for the conversation during the lesson.
In the beginning of the class I went together with the students over the specific questions that they have prepared. The connection went without any problems. The Spanish student online introduced himself briefly and told us about his region of origin. Then he gave students space to ask what interested them. The interview was conducted in English. I was very pleasantly surprised. Unlike the first interview when students had problems communicating in English and were ashamed because their English was not perfect, now there was a difference. They got freely engaged in the conversation and communicated on a various topic scale - from monuments to education and football, all the way to the lives of young people in Spain.
After the first lesson I had an uneasy feeling about how the new method went but I decided to give it another try. I gave it a chance and I prepared another interview, this time with students from Nepal. The whole outcome had been much improved and the third try with the Spaniards landed absolutely amazingly. Students thus had a chance to learn such information as the teacher often can not provide because he or she does not have personal experience from living in the thought country. It was also positive that they tried at home to prepare for the interview in English. They have strengthened their language skills as well as the ability to make contact with new people who speak different languages.
The problem of the first interview was that it was new for the students. They did not posses any experience with how to behave and act in an interview.

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