by Bill Guariento
Some thoughts on yesterday’s presentations.
Firstly, and above all, I feel relieved and very happy indeed that they went so well. All of the speakers showed real progress from the half-way stages two weeks ago, when so much still needed to be done, and all of the Glasgow students can be very proud of the way they overcame their fear of speaking….in a foreign language….through the ‘noise’ created by the internet link-up….in front of some distinguished audience members. At the same time, I feel so grateful to the students from IUG. The presentations re-inforced the feeling I already have that any future collaboration needs to be much better-balanced. Leaving aside the patience of the IUG students, I was struck by the real quality of their interventions, in terms of their English, their tact, and their content-knowledge. If we can think of a way to develop a truly two-way interaction for next summer, we could do great things together.
The internet link worked pretty well. The first 30 minutes suffered from some noise, and we lost the link at the very end, but for over three hours we had some very effective communication. I feel that, by the afternoon session, our students had basically forgotten that they were addressing an audience in a different country / time-zone. With a little more trialling of the link-up, we can ensure this is the case from the very beginning of any future telecollaborations between IUG and UoG. I know that Anna was quite frustrated by the connection issues in the first half-hour (she is used to being in a position to ‘fix’ any internet problems, but the link-up was, for once, beyond her influence). But our students were never fazed by the situation and (as we heard Nazmi saying, in Arabic, when we lost the visuals at the end)…..’If you don’t have a problem, you can’t have a solution!’
It was great, and I can’t wait for the end-of-course party.