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Talk: The use of E-mail as a Teaching and Learning Tool
Date: 12 January 2011 

You are cordially invited to attend the following talk held as part of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures' Seminar Series:

The use of E-mail as a Teaching and Learning Tool

Mrs Rocío Blasco García (Spanish Programme Director)

Date: Jan 12 ( Wed ) , 2011
Time: 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Venue: KK Leung Building Room 102

In the old days, foreign language teachers promoted the virtues of having "penpals" to practice with native speakers of the target language. However, communication was slow as letters could take a long time to reach their destination and by the time partners got a response it was almost impossible to remember what had been said in the original letter. Nowadays things are different thanks to computers, which have become an essential work tool both for teachers and students in every educational environment. In this seminar, a reflection will be made on the usefulness of email as a teaching and learning tool for students who do not have easy access to native speakers of the target language (as is the case with Hong Kong students and Spanish). This reflection will be done through an analysis of the results obtained from a study of asynchronous email exchanges between students of Spanish at The University of Hong Kong and students of Chinese at Universidad Complutense in Madrid. Advantages and disadvantages of carrying out this type of exchange will be presented, as well as an analysis of students’ expectations before the exchange and conclusions after it. This analysis will serve as the basis to find out whether students actually consider this kind of activity an effective and fun way to learn language and culture.

About the Speaker:
Mrs Rocío Blasco García is the Spanish Programme Director. She joined the University of Hong Kong in 1993. Mrs. Blasco holds an MEd from the University of Liverpool and a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Seville (Spain). She is currently undertaking research for a PhD in the field of Teaching of Spanish as a Foreign Language from the University Antonio de Nebrija in Madrid. She first joined HKU as a part-time teacher and was instrumental in the setting up and development of the Spanish Programme and has been its Director ever since. She teaches language courses at all levels as well as content courses on Spanish culture and Translation between English and Spanish. Her research interests are the teaching of culture in the foreign language classroom, intercultural development and the development of Spanish programmes in Asia. Another area of interest is translation.

All are welcome. No registration is required.

For enquiries, please contact Ms Christy Ho at

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