Language teaching is taking a new (for me) and exciting step. Last year, the Australian National University offered students the opportunity to learn Mongolian from classes held at Indiana University (in exchange for our Indonesian lessons), a program set to continue, thanks to a recent agreement signed with the Mongolian Prime Minister.

Now ABCNews tells us that my own high school Narrabundah College has facilities designed for video-conference learning with classes in other countries.

Years ago, students practised their language skills with pen-pals, sending letters back and forth. As international travel became easier, they started exchange programs (for those who could afford it). The advent of the early internet allowed email pen-pals, and eventually even instant messaging and Skype to practice. It wasn’t long before there were online classes offering VoIP or video lessons from native speakers.

It’s good to see the same possibility offered within educational institutions. I hope others will soon be able to access the same facilities.

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