Comparing six video chat tools: A critical evaluation by language teachers

ERÖZ TUĞA B., Sadler R.

COMPUTERS & EDUCATION, vol.53, no.3, pp.787-798, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 53 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.compedu.2009.04.017
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.787-798
  • Keywords: Computer-mediated communication, Cooperative/collaborative learning, Cross-cultural projects, Pedagogical issues, COMMUNICATION, FRENCH
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This article presents a critical comparison of the usefulness and practicality of six CMC video chat tools (CUworld, ICQ, MSN Messenger, Paltalk, Skype, and Yahoo Messenger) from the perspective of language teaching professionals. This comparison is based on the results of a semester-long project between graduate students at an American university and their counterparts at a university in Turkey. The language teachers were asked to pair up with a partner in the collaborating university to test and then evaluate each of these tools via video chat tool evaluation sheets. They also completed an overall evaluation sheet commenting on CMC tools in general and ranking the video chat tools in terms of their potential as language teaching tools and their usability for personal communication purposes. The qualitative and quantitative analyses of the evaluation sheets indicate a clear preference for MSN Messenger and Skype while placing CUworld and Paltalk at the bottom of the list. The article also provides pedagogical implications and applications for using tools for language teaching purposes. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.