One of the greatest things the internet offers to me is CHAT. I absolutely love it. I can write short messages while I’m doing something else (I’m actually chatting with a student as I type this) and take my time in answering people’s questions and queries. With my parents being thousands of miles away I find this (along with email) the best way to keep in touch. I highly recommend that any student serious about mastering English start using chat. It’s tough at first because of the speed at which you feel you have to type but sentences are usually kept short and allow people to practice quick simple English. It allows my wife and students to contact me any time during the day if they have a quick question without disturbing me on the phone. At present I chat with 3 students regularly but I wish more would do it as it will help them get more comfortable using English.
For those people out there not confident of using chat just ask my mother – she just turned 71 and only started using computers 7 years and survived with the dial-up system for years. If she can do it, anyone can. So sit down and get ready to experience the joy of chat 🙂
Al Bartle says
I also use chat a little with a few students. I agree that it gives them a way to practice simple written English conversation which I am sure will be reflected over time in their ability to speak better and faster. Actually, they will find that they can converse faster by speaking but the KURO (adversity or difficulty in Japanese: I love this word) they experience when they have to compose their thoughts and type the words as they chat will pay off when they speak also. All students should do it if they have such a chance. You are great for giving them that chance!