I am also interested in developing students' speaking skills. I am teaching English for Indonesian undergrad students.We might have same interest that we can share.
I'm brainstorming here so if any of the ideas seem a little hard to understand, let me know.
Here are some ideas:
- Students could write plays and then act them out and video tape them. They would then put the video on Moodle class for discussion or sharing with other groups of students. The repeated practice with learning their lines helps them become more fluent. Seeing and hearing themselves can also help them see where they could make improvement.
- With microphones, students could record a conversation they have with another student and then listen to their conversation, post the recording on Moodle class (might even give self evaluation on what they could have done better).
- Audio files could be posted on Moodle that allow students to listen to phrases and then practice themselves.
- They might also record a final sample of the phrase from the above suggestion and post it to Moodle.
- Could use moodle Forum or Wiki or a Chat for students to brainstorm and edit primary questions and possible follow up questions for students to do an interview with someone perhaps a school employee, a person in a career they want to learn about, etc. They could then come back and report orally to another student about how their interview went before writing it up. (Helps with the writing process also for students to orally plan their writing.)
- When the new picture/art module is completed, students could give ORAL directions to another student on how to complete a drawing of an object and see how close they can get. Students then post their pictures to show they completed the activity.
I hope those ideas help.
You missed a couple, podcast and web(Vodcast).
Radio plays are fun, training video's.....
Have a site wide podcast to keep up too date, daily news announcements.
Wow, John and everyone. What a lot of neat ideas!!! I'm sending a link to this forum to all our ELD Specialists.
Great links about the MOAR:
http://englishsafari.org/?p=80 (has a nice Rubric with it!!!)
But psst...I'll tell you a secret -- my students absolutely love Skype above all other audio software.
Once the recording is submitted teachers make comments on accents and how to improve.
I've run these activities with Native English speakers learning Spanish, French, and German as a foreign Language and with Native Chinese speakers learning English as a conversational language.
The challenge that our faculty identified was that students were not speaking at conversational speeds during class and wanted ways to leverage technology to help imrpove this.
The first test we did was to have students record a 15 to 30 second commercial off of TV and write a translation text of the commercial in the target language. We then had the students record a dubbed track of the commercial using standard audio recording software on the computer. The recording had to take the same amount of time that the commercial ran for. We then simply used Quicktime Pro to add the newly dubbed track to the original and export the whole project.
For the Chinese project we had the learners write their own story in Chinese, then we shot a quick video of the learner reading their story in Chinese. They then had to translate their story to English, type it up and create a dubbed track for their original video.
A similar project with these student from China was to have them write reviews in English of lectures that they attended then record an audio file of them reading their review. Everything was posted into an ePortfolio that they were creating to document their learning experience.
In all cases, we found students began to sound more natural speaking their target language. The lecture notes project was also geat for tracking progress over time and clearly showed inprovements in students reading ability in the target language.
Art Center College of Design
Conversation is extremely important. English is becoming the commom medium of communication these days and people from different countries are sharing their thoughts with each other by communicating in some common langauge such as English. Hence, learning English has become really important.
I remember an incident when a chinese student enrolled for a science course in my university but was unable to communicate with others because of the common language problem. Slowly and gradually she started learning English and today she is confident in her communication and is proud for what she did.
The best way to learn english is to use this everyday. During classes, the language for speaking and writing should always be english. Listen and talk to native english speakers. Read a lot of books written in english. Use the language every time you need to communicate and make it as the only language you speak. You'll be an expert in no time.
Yes, there's some great ideas for recording prepared monologues and dialogues. They have their uses and can be very helpful to learners, but I would argue that they're not particularly authentic uses of language, unless learners are preparing to be radio or TV narrators.
I'm also interested in helping learners to develop their communicative competences and strategies. I think it's important for learners to perform in authentic scenarios and develop their skills in co-constructing dialogues with other human beings. Classic scenarios would be media interviews, job interviews, surveys, discussions, chit-chat, collaborative problem solving, etc. VoIP and web conferencing services are excellent for this, especially if they provide additional communicative and collaborative tools such as text chat, shared document editing, shared whiteboards, etc.
Has anyone done much with VoIP and web conferencing tools? I'm more interested in learner centred activities that teacher led ones.
Have you tried http://EnglishCentral.com. Cool...way way coool.
Nice interface. Lots of recent current events in the form of videos with transcripts PLUS voice recording and Progress tracking. Hope this doesn't qualify as spam or hidden spam since I am not connected in any way to the site.
Yes, I've used English Central, partly owned by Google Venture, with groups of students. It's very similar to Tell Me More and Talk to Me by Auralog.
I had a look at your quickie MP3 project. It looks good and it seems to be similar to the NanoGong standalone applet that's used in the audio assignment type for Moodle 1.9. I've been working on something similar too but with Flash. It:
- Records user's mic in WAV format.
- Users can also submit text alongside the audio.
- The audio gets saved in the course files directory with the user's name as the file name.
- A link to the audio file and any submitted text is saved as an entry in Moodle's grade book.
- Sends the data as a byte array so a PHP service script writes it to the appropriate MIME type(s).
- Circumvents php.ini and Moodle file size limits.
Some, but not all browsers, can play WAV files natively, and modified Flash apps can play them. I'm not a low-level programmer (they're rare and special people!) so I have to rely on 3rd party libraries for encoding binary data such as audio. All the Flash CODECs I've tried either struggle or crash when trying to encode WAV to MP3 (Flash Player doesn't do multi-threading) and it's not really acceptable from a user's point of view. I think most people use Java applets just because they have better developed and optimised CODECs. Adobe Alchemy (optimisation engine) looks promising but I think the main problem is transcoding from WAV to MP3. I'm sure there must be a better solution and I've shelved the project for the moment.
To get an idea of how it works in principle, it's similar to this app (open source) that I developed, which is for drawing concept maps: http://blog.matbury.com/2011/06/19/students-can-save-snapshot-images-on-moodle/