…by connecting people, and searching for what they really want.
For eight to twelve-year-olds, their interest is celebrities; so what better way to check their hold of the English language by correcting celebrities bad-grammar riddled tweets? Some commenters were up-in-arms about this being ‘bad netiquette’ but seriously, it’s got to be far less damaging to a celebrity’s self-esteem than some of the ridiculous crap ‘fans’ send them (I’m looking at you, EXO fandom). Also, it’s a great way to get kids excited in their education – with no extra work created for the teacher. If you can’t handle being criticized for what you write, then don’t write on a public forum. Yeah?
Slightly older students are more interested in learning English for the places it’ll allow them to go, many of them expressing interest in traveling to the States. If their English is good, their travel will be a lot easier. So they’ve been matched – in a stroke of brilliance – with a group of seniors in an old folks home in America who just want someone to talk to, to feel energised by communicating with a younger generation. And it works well – the kids get to communicate with native English speakers, and the Oldies get some much needed attention.
However, to get to this stage of learning you need to have a fairly good grasp of the language you’re learning. Lang-8 works in a similar way, where you write diary entries in the language you’re learning and get corrected by native speakers – and perhaps get to know some of them well enough to develop that relationship on Skype. It’s a great give-and-take system.
I cant be bothered proper reffing at the moment, but here’s the links: