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English Conversation on Skype - do you speak with your mouth or your eyes?

One of my pet peeves of talking to English learners on Skype is that they want me to use video chat, instead of voice call.


Just now someone did, and I said no.


He asked me for my pictures. I asked why. He said he wanted to see my office, as I was Skyping from my office. So I sent him a picture of Jia Jia (my panda) outside my office. I got off the call before the file finished transmission. I am not sure what his reaction was. I imagined he was probably quite disappointed. ^_^


Next time if someone asks me for my picture, I will send them a picture of an old lady with no teeth. I have no teeth, but I can speak perfect English. ^_^




About the same subject:

I've received the same demand from a girl with whom I was voicechating, because she wanted to link the name to a visage as she said. I exceptionally agreed to open her my cam. With another girl, after a long voicechat she said me that I was the 6th person that she chat with this day, and that I was the only person who didn't  ask her for videochat, so she said that she found me the most normal person she had met this day!!!   

In conclusion, I think that we must be sincere with ourselves in with our interlocuors. If we have other aims, we mustn't try to reach  them with indirect means. 


Don't be out of temper! Easy, Easy!  You could put the demand(No picture,No videochat) into your introduction. That will don't hurt anybody. Ok!



I like the panda idea better than Einstein. Go with the panda. :)

Give you a sincere advice , for those people who want to videochat merely  , it is not worthy to talk with them if you were really serious to practice your language instead of friend match.

Sometimes I think it helps when you can see each other, you can judge by looking at a person's face whether or not they understood what you said.


On the other hand, I don't do a whole lot of skyping with random people (or anyone except for tutors and teachers on italki), so this hasn't been a problem for me so far.

jeje this is funny but sad in a way. I can agree with you on one hand, only because I know how us guys are. On the other hand, for serious students wanting to learn.. Watching the motion of the mouth could be helpful. However, I don't think it is needed to get the hang of it.

Well, it seems to me that you're not interested in learning a language right. If you've really wanted to learn a language right, you would've known that video chatting is not only importan, but really crucial.

Let me explain. If you want to speak a language like a native, then a video chat is crucial. And since you want to learn English, I will choose the "R" in the American English as an example. To perfectly do it, it's not only important to bring your tongue backwards to do it , but it is also important to bring your lips forward. This was a knew information for me. listening the American "R" might've really helped me, but I am sure that after "watching" how to actually do it helped me perfect that sound. 

Want a proof? watch this

Depending on your ears alone might help you, but won't make you a really good language speaker. However if you want to improve your intonation, your ears are the most important. But trust me, if you look at the native when they speak; every gesture, every body movement with rise and fall of the sounds, you will understand intonation even more.


To sum up, to"perfectly" learn the pronounciation , you must use a video chat or rather see the movements of the mouth. If you want to learn the melody of the language however, it's "ok" to listen without actually seeing the person talking; eventhough and as I wrote earlier, it will help you more if you use video chat.


On the face of it, what you've wrote is true. We talk with our mouths, but you've forgotten that we learn with all our senses. And believe it or not, in order to learn a lanugage right, you need the five senses.




I don't have that problem, I teach people the way it suits them, by a video or a voice call on Skype. So far it has been going great. And, I definitely couldn't learn lots of words in Japanese, if I hadn't seen my teacher say them. There are some people that think of italki as a dating site, but I have tendencies to avoid such men. Everyone who wants to get married on italki: go away!
I hope you won't have any more problems of such kind in the future. 

I don`t see any problem if smb wants to talk with you, with the help of video and mic via Skype as well.. it`s just the way of communicating, nothing more :) BUT! I`m annoyed with the people who want to use just video chat without voice, like "let`s open the cams but will continue do writing.." - why? What for? i don`t like it.. Chat is chat, normal conversation it`s a normal conversation! :) This`s my point :)

Yes, there are many different learning styles, and visual cues can enhance the learning process.  But I haven't yet encountered a situation where it is actually helpful to use video camera.  


The English learners I have spoken with have told me that I speak quite clearly, and they pick up my pronounciation no problem.   But the male ones tend to have the special request of video chat, or my picture.  You can justify the need for a video chat, but how do you justify the need for my picture?   If my picture can help you learn English better, then I would have commercialized it for a profit.  ^_^

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