Well, I’m done with MysteryQuest USA for the year, and the last ASK programs are finished as well. One thing that I’ve noticed is that videoconferencing really does promote/encourage/require/give practice for speaking skills.
When students share a clue in MysteryQuest, and then have to repeat them again and again because the other students couldn’t hear them, they learn to speak up and slow down! And they gain more confidence and poise because of their practice being on camera.
As Cifuentes and Murphy (2000) found in their study of a long term collaboration between Texan and Mexican students: “The students became more confident in their speaking, poise, and behavior on camera.”
I think also of Rusty, of Weather with Rusty fame. If the students ask their question too fast or they mumble, he makes them do it again! He mentors students so they catch some of his “on camera” professionalism.
What do you think? How did you see students learn and grow in their speaking skills this past year?