Saturday, November 12, 2011

Practice language skills on the phone... ya think?

Google Voice becomes a repository for oral reports, assignments, or sound bites. Not only is it a repository, but teachers can write notes on each clip, share, and post them. This is obviously an effective tool for auditory learners and a way to practice language skills--ESL and foreign language teachers listen up! In any language arts class, so often, there is not enough class time for oral reports, but now it can happen individually.
Ideas for Using Google Voice with Students
1) Have students do their oral reports using Google Voice. If they don't like how they sounded the first time, they don't have to send the message. They can re-record until they have something with which they are happy.
2) Use as an assessment tool to easily capture student's reading level. Not only to have you have a recording, you have a transcript too and a place to keep notes. Rather than talk to a parent about how a student has progressed across a year, let them listen to it their child themselves.
3) Have students share something interesting about themselves and post the recordings on a class page or in a blog where other students can listen or comment.

Text Talk Classroom Stories: Katy Taylor
At Holmdel High School in New Jersey, students in Spanish teacher Katy Taylor’s class practice their language skills on the phone. On their own time, students call her Google Voice number and  read something in Spanish or create a dialogue which is sent to her Google Voice account.  The kids respond really well to it and instead of taking up class time, they dial in to her phone number, and then she can go online to hear what they've done.  She listens to their recordings and e-mails them feedback. Many students are afraid to make mistakes in front of their peers. When they receive a recording assignment, they're more apt to take risks because they have some privacy.
The end result is students are speaking more and getting feedback.

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