The Mixxer: Connecting Students with Native Speakers via Skype

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Abstract

The Mixxer was created at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, USA as a way to connect language students with native speakers as part of a mutual language exchange. The site began as a potential solution for one instructor who had difficulty finding a reliable class-to-class partnership for her Japanese course and has since grown to include over 100,000 users representing more than 100 languages and is used by a number of academic and government institutions around the world. Built using Drupal and integrated with Skype, the site allows for individuals and instructors to connect in a variety of ways including individual exchanges between language learners, class to class exchanges, and events. Events are invitations organized by an instructor inviting potential language partners to sign up to speak with their students at a given day and time. For writing practice, the site provides a blog function allowing learners to post and ask the community for feedback. For instructors who would like to keep track of language exchanges completed by their students as homework, there is also a confirmation function. The student can send their partner a form asking that they confirm the exchange after which a summary then appears on their confirmation page.

Keywords: eTandem, Skype, CMC, language exchange, social network, open tools.

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Bryant, Todd. (2013). The Mixxer: Connecting Students with Native Speakers via Skype. In Ana Beaven, Anna Comas-Quinn, Barbara Sawhill (Eds), Case Studies of Openness in the Language Classroom (pp. 23-31). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2013.000107

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