Monday, 29 December 2014

Ipadio and audioboo for students to record themselves with

I posted this yesterday to the audioboo publisher community on Edmodo, but thought it might be of interest to a wider audience.

I teach English as a Foreign Language in Barcelona. I no longer have access to the Edmodo audioboo app, probably because I live outside the USA and Canada. I used the audioboo apps for Android phones and iPhones a lot last year: I got my students to record all their pronunciation work using audioboo apps on their phones.

This year I decided to stop using the audioboo apps for phones partly because there wasn't an up-to-date Android app, but mainly because I decided to use only one recording app instead of the two I used last year.

My favourite recording app for Android phones and iphones is and last year I got my students to use this app when really communicating in English and to use the audioboo app for the mechanics of pronunciation, reading sentences and texts aloud and repeating things.

Now my student record everything with the same app (ipadio) and they can cross-post their best communicative recordings to their e-portfolios fairly easily. Here are links to the best two examples of my current students' e-portfolios:

Students can also embed their recordings in Edmodo. Every week they choose their best recording and turn it in as an assignment on Edmodo. I listen to one minute of their recordings and in five minutes have enough time to listen twice and give feedback on grammar/vocabulary and pronunciation and record myself saying the phrases and words I have drawn their attention to. I use to do this.

Here is an example recording by the best student in my pre-intermediate class, my comments and my recording:

Listen once to the first minute of your recording and pause when you get to each of these grammar mistakes and take some notes:

He takes photos
he's working for a newspaper
one of his cameras is particularly important for him
His grandfather was from Germany
Today he's taking photographs of a model for
a famous fashion magazine

Here are some pronunciation problems. Listen to my recording and repeat the grammar mistakes and the pronunciation mistakes. There should be time to repeat them. Use your mobile to record my version and yours and then listen and compare them:



Listen again to the first minute of your recording and stop at each of these grammar and pronunciation errors above and say each word correctly.

Very fluent, but with some grammar and pronunciation problems to solve.

I've just spent 5 minutes on this. Please make sure that you spend at least as much time as me trying to learn from your mistakes. If you like you can make a new recording and post it here.

Monday, 8 December 2014

This is what I offer my face-to-face students:

  • My students record themselves speaking English every class. Sometimes it is pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar practice, but each student records themselves re-telling a story and/or being interviewed every class.
  • I listen to some of these recordings and give very informal feedback twice a week.
  • I ask my students to select their best recording of them re-telling a story or possibly being interviewed and I give detailed feedback on one minute of their best recording every week.
  • My students write an email, a letter, a story, an article, or a description every week.
  • I correct all the errors in their weekly writing and mark 5 mistakes as being the most important to learn from.
  • My students send me a corrected version of their weekly writing for me to check.
  • I check their corrected version and make any additional suggestions for improvement.
  • In theory, my students add their best recordings and their twice-corrected writing to their e-portfolio each week.
  • My students read a simplified book every week (in theory) and write a two line comment about it for other students to read.
  • After reading 6 books at one level I suggest they try the next level. Ideally they will read books from four levels in the three terms.
  • I suggest homework from the workbook and DVD(s) but tell my students to be selective and say “ONLY DO WHAT'S IMPORTANT FOR YOU” as there is too much to do it all.
This is what I don’t offer my face-to-face students:

  • I don’t correct the homework from the workbook and DVD(s) in class or at home. But I offer to help them with any doubts they have about the answers to this homework.
  • I don’t correct all the mistakes my students make when speaking in class, but I do write a selection of errors on the board after most speaking activities.
  • I rarely ask individual students to give answers to questions in exercises. Instead, students do the exercises in pairs, while I listen and tell them if I hear that they make a mistake.
  • I rarely ask individuals to speak to all the class. I nearly always ask them to work in pairs or groups of three when speaking and record themselves.
  • I don’t tell my students their grade for their writing until they have sent me a corrected version, although I have given them a grade and made a note of it after the first correction.
  • I don’t correct worksheets my students do in class or at home, but instead, I give them the answers and ask them to correct it themselves in a different colour. Sometimes I collect the corrected worksheets to see if there is something I need to teach again.
  • I rarely say “Excellent!”, “Very good!” etc in class, but I’m always saying things like “Great!” to my students online.
We use English File Pre-intermediate and Intermediate 3rd edition. We have already done one term using the book and plan to finish the book over the next two terms. Our class is equipped with an interactive whiteboard and I use it a lot. We use mobile phones in class and the internet out of class.