Skypecasts as a mediator of authentic communication

Daniel A. Craig
(Seoul National University)

Jungtae Kim
(Yonsei University)

Abstract Most language educators would agree that authentic communication with speakers of a target language is invaluable in learning a foreign language. However, unless one is teaching the language in a location where speakers of the language are abundant, this is quite difficult. This is where Internet-based

technologies are most beneficial. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is one of these technologies that can be very useful for language learners. VoIP has been used for many years as a low-priced alternative to traditional telephone calls for international calling. With increasing call quality and functionality has come an increasing number of companies offering these services and an increasing number of people utilizing them. Skype™ is an internationally popular VoIP service, well-known for both the quality and ease of use of the service. Recently, Skype released a Beta product named "Skypecasts," which merges the functionalities of VoIP, conference calls, and podcasts to create a unique product that can be extremely useful for language learners and teachers across the globe. This presentation will discuss the need for authentic communication in language learning, the functionalities and uses of Skypecasts, and examples of the use of Skypecasts by organized classes and individual learners for the purpose of language learning.

Bio-Data

Dan Craig teaches English to medical students, faculty, and staff at Seoul National University. He has earned master’s degrees from the University of Illinois in Teaching English as a Second

Language and Indiana University in Instructional Systems Technology. He is currently a dual degree Ph.D. student at Indiana University in the Departments of Language Education and Instructional Systems Technology. His specific research interests include computer-assisted language learning (CALL), distance education, and professional development for educators.

Jungtae Kim teaches courses related to language testing, computer-assisted language learning (CALL), and Second Language Acquisition Theories at Yonsei University, Ewha Women's University, and Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Department of Educational Psychology and his MA in TESL from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His special research interests are in developing web-based speaking tests in Korean contexts and investigating the effectiveness of computerassisted classroom instructions.