“Listen In” to student audio

This week, EnglishCentral released their “Listen In” feature. Now, not only can students “speak” youtube videos, teachers can also listen in and provide assessment and feedback to their students.

I’m not going to outline how to access this. Just register as a teacher, sign up students and then find this on your Teacher Tools reports page. Go here – EnglishCentral has already described it in detail. However, I do think this is just “crazy” and I’d like to outline how teachers might use this feature in their teaching. I can suggest 3 main ways.

1. As a way of verifying that students are actually practicing and doing their assignments. Lets face it, part of the difficulty about online learning is the “accountability problem”. Too often with tech, teachers won’t use it because they think students can scam the system and are just playing computer games while online. The listen in feature provides both teachers and students with accountability – between themselves and too other stakeholders like parents and school administrators. So I think schools and teachers will love this feature.

2. As part of an assignment. Production is crucial for language development (Swain 2004). As an end product, the “listen in” feature allows teachers to assign a video and provide feedback to the student on their speech, as part of the assignment. It makes it a complete learning cycle.

3. Assessment, pure and simple. This comes immediately to mind as the crucial way the tool can be used. It can be both a formative (ongoing) or summative tool. Even use it as a way of leveling students (but not exclusively) at the beginning of your school year. Or sit one on one with students and review their speech, their errors, along with understanding of the video. Their speech is highlighted with feedback “marks” for both teacher and student to see.

This beta feature will only get better. Along with the new pronunciation reports that immediately tell you how your students are doing and where they need help – this just makes EnglishCentral even more cutting edge than it already was.

In ending, all I can say is “This is Crrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaazy”.

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ddeubel

Teacher trainer, technology specialist, educational thinker...creator of EFL Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for thousands of EFL / ESL teachers and students around the world.

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