I was part of a Pilot Program with Time2Talk last year at Groton School. I teach Spanish here, have served as the Department Chair of World Languages, and am currently Dean of Faculty.
I used the program in both of my Spanish 2 classes last year. It simply was fantastic.
I used it, at times, in class, and, other times, I assigned my students to use this program as homework.
Its beauty is connecting students with skilled, knowledgeable Spanish speakers who live in Central America, South America or in Spain. These “coaches,” as they are called, are absolutely brilliant at helping language students gain confidence in some of the most important skills needed – speaking and listening.
A list of coaches is available online, and students do not need to set up an appointment in advance. One looks at the screen of available coaches and their countries and then connects. A student can speak for five minutes or ten or twenty, whatever the assignment. This year at Groton, each student will have three hours of Time2Talk to use during the course of the year.
The conversations are person-to-person, through the app. There is no video. Personal information of our students is not shared. Available coaches, fully trained and vetted by the Time2Talk team, are connected to a user name of the student’s choice. These coaches know the level of my students and are able to engage with them at their level of proficiency.
My students LOVED it. They learned about other countries and other cultures as they gained in confidence. They frequently asked me: “Can we do Time2Talk again today?
Our pilot was so successful that we now have over ten classes at Groton that will be using it for this coming academic year.
I have long thought that a missing piece of language instruction in a high school classroom was “real life” chatting with native speakers. Of course, our faculty do that in our classrooms. But with over ten students in each class, there simply is not the opportunity for students to speak as much as they need one-on-one to gain experience and confidence. Time2Talk addressed this issue masterfully.
I look forward to another terrific year working with this amazing resource.