An orchestrated dialogue with all instruments

What did I do?

This is a description of a playful dialogue case which I carried out in Do One phase. I’m instructor and supervisor for a tailormade subject teacher education programme for immigrants with a master degree. In this programme they become qualified subject teachers and also accomplish a exam in Finnish on level C1.  Therefore ALL communication is in Finnish.  The students are supposed to reflect and communicate in Finnish both in oral and written dialogues during the process. I’ll give an example of the dialogue with one student during a module.


How did you do it?

The student lives in a distane of 600 km from the F2F meeting point so a lot of communication is done online. Mainly using Skype and AC (Adobe Connect Pro) and also Whatsup and even Facebook. Some of the dialogues are synchronous e.g. all my lectures are online recorded with AC. The student can either follow online or listen to them recorded. The student keep in touch with the other students on their private facebook group or skype. It depends very much on if the dialogue is formal or informal. Those are the premises I consider when choosing the tools for dialogues.

This is how I did:

  • I use a platform (Moodle) which could be seen as a basecamp for everything. Also the Finnish language teacher is a member of that platform.
  • I sort the dialogues to formal and informal dialogues. Then the student also know when he/she has to focus on accuracy in the oral or written language (in Finnish there is a difference between spoken and written language).
  • I also point out the dialogue channels where I’m available asynchronously or synchronously.
  • I ask the students which dialogue they prefer.
  • I orchestrate it and try to find a balance between all parts.


How did it go?

In the beginning I noticed that the student preferred written dialogues asynchronously. I suppose that Google Translate is the key! The student needs the time to copy and paste text into Translate. Further on the student got more confident with the language and wanted to speak more. Also informally recorded voice messages with Whatsup.

The student’s language skills in Finnish developed and finally it was not a key issue which tool we would use for the dialogue.



What is my best advice?

  • Listen to students voice – internal voice: are they more comfortable with spoken or written dialogue.
  • Help the student to develop in both skills.
  • Put both the synchronous and asynchronous dialoguemeeting in your calender. Otherwise you might end up communicating 24/7.
  • Learn to read between the lines, and practice to be accurate with your message- also the students read between the lines!


Kirsi Wallinheimo

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