My final project is related to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). The main idea of it is to improve reading and writing skills in the students of Administration English III at the Maritime University of the Caribbean. It has been observed during the course and in their exams that these students have severe weaknesses at the moment of reading and writing texts related to their careers. The way to face this problem is to teach them some techniques to improve these two skills.
Administration students are experts using some 2.0 platforms. They use them almost every day, but most of the time for entertainment or fun. The social networks used to surf are: Face Book, YouTube, Badoo, Twitter, Mns, Skype, among others. For this reason, it has been designed a course wiki for them to improve reading and writing. This wiki is the web site which connects the teacher and the student. But not only that, it also connects face to face classes with distance classes because the wiki has exercises for the students and they have to do them at home and bring them in class to be checked by the teacher.
There are also some artifacts designed by the teacher for the students to improve the skills already mentioned. The wiki is one of them. The second one is my own voice recorded on Audacity, put it on Window Movie Maker and uploaded on YouTube. The second artifact is a combination of three 2.0 platforms (Audacity, Windows Movie Maker and YouTube). The reason of combining these platforms was to create an authentic material because that is the idea of the communicative approach being used at The Maritime University of the Caribbean. The main goal for the students to improve reading and writing is using real task situations through these artifacts. Students must create a video like the one the teacher made for them. There is going to be some training for them in order to use these tools. However, they already know how to interact and use wikis and YouTube. The training will be focused on Audacity and Windows Movie Maker that are two platforms very easy to manage and control.
This project is going to be applied for next semester (term 2011-II, from October to February). It is expected to last three weeks. At that time students will read and do all the exercises in the wiki. They will bring the exercises to their face to face classes. They will be given the appropriate training for some of the artifacts and they will show it to their other classmates in class. The video that they have to make will have a formative evaluation.