Skype in ELT can work, but a lot of questions come. For me there is a need to consider following:
- need of a trusted contact person willing to spend some time by communication with the class
- time consuming activity, probably it is not the way to go regularly in the regular lessons
- sometimes the connection lags but nowadays we don’t have Skype as the only possibility of video calls, we could use Hangouts, Whatsapp or Viber if Skype fails
- need of a backup plan – too many factors can fail
- setting some basic rules for the conversation (e.g. topics or questions to ask), tasks for learners could be planned and set in advance
- it is a real communicative activity, this is a good side so maybe this could be optional for the learners (afternoon course)
I really like the idea of video or voice calls in a lesson. This could provide a good sample of real use of English and motivate learners to participate actively. This is activity I would need to see in real for the whole class but I can imagine it easily for individuals, consultations, extra lessons, cooperation and work on projects.