Saturday, 28 January 2012

CALL for teaching pronunciation, speaking and listening activities



Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young. 
Henry Ford

It is unbelievable that the Week 3 is almost at its end. The week was full of challenges. Oh, how many useful things we learned. Those things will be rewarding for our students and for us, too. In this week, we had to read the materials for CALL teaching of pronunciation, speaking and listening activities. At first, I will mention developing listening skills with authentic materials. In my opinion, this skill is an important part of learning the second language. There are many useful web links which can help us to create a motivated learning atmosphere. Students can also boost their listening skills by listening to the native speakers of English. If you want to read more, you can just visit the following page:  http://www.elthillside.com/up/files/article4.doc . I have discovered a lot of useful web links which can be advantageous for teaching and learning ESL. I will mention one of useful ESL learning and teaching tools. It is the radio and TV station which are designed for learners of ESL. Students can choose the topic their want to listen to and they can also pick out which level is suitable for them. If you want to find out more, it is available at: http://www.eslradio.net/.


 The second section deals with teaching pronunciation. I was so intrigued by this thread, so I read the article at http://www.openstarts.units.it/dspace/bitstream/10077/2850/1/bus%C3%A0.pdf . I discovered many useful pieces of information about this topic. One of the sentences that caught my eye was that ‘the goal of Computer Assisted Pronunciation Training (CAPT) systems is to provide learners with private, stress-free practice with individualized and instantaneous feedback of information’. And one of the greatest advantages of the application of CALL is that it offers a private environment for working on pronunciation without fear of the number of repetitions needed for full comprehension or accuracy of production. This way of practice enables students to get rid of their fear which is often present. The most interesting thing is that there are many electronic tools for speech analysis. Students can record their voices. Then, they can listen to it and if it is necessary to make some corrections they can do it by recording their pronunciation again.
The second topic is The Employment of CALL in Teaching Second/Foreign Language Speaking Skills. This topic is also an interesting one. I also discovered many useful pieces of information about this section and it is available at: 
There are also many useful tech tools which can help students to improve their skills of listening. One of them is ‘Conversation’. It is a type of software designed to allow users to “talk” to computers. This software also allows learners to choose a situation, study the dialogue, record themselves and then play the recording back and compare it to the model.
  
While reading about CALL for all three activities, I realized how much these modern tech-techniques of teaching and learning will contribute to boost students’ skills and it will also build their self-confidence to promote these skills even outside the classroom.

10 comments:

  1. yes, there have been so many new things and it really feels that we are studying. I love the quotation which you start your article with. Another great author Howard Hendricks in his book "Teaching to change lives" says that "If you stop growing today, you stop teaching tomorrow". Thus I always try not to lag behind as much as it is possible with an overcrowded schedule of a teacher... :)
    thanks for sharing your insights,
    have a nice weekend,
    Lina

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    1. Dear Lina,
      Thanks for your comment. This week was so,so great. Yes, we always have to keep learning. The same thing is with me. I also try not to lag behind. I always do my best to keep in touch with all newest information concerning teaching English.
      Best regards....
      Have a nice day
      Rade

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  2. Wow! Wow! What an awesome blog you have! I finally got a little bit more time to catch up with our course.(still struggling, though) You were the first person who commented on my blog .Thank you because it is a great encouragement for a "freshman" of the blog world! After browsing your blog, now it's one of my goals to have my blog the way you are "building" up yours. It is like opening a book which is so intriguing that you just can't let go until you come to the last page.
    In the second article you brought up ” The Employment of CALL in Teaching Second/Foreign Language Speaking Skills” www.edfac.unimelb.edu.au/research/resources/student_res/postscriptfiles/vol3/vol3_1_gong1.pdf , the author also mentioned” In language classrooms, teachers are unable to repeat a phoneme, word, or phrase as often as the students would like. Whereas a computer program can provide endless repetitions and therefore meet the learners’ needs. Furthermore, the learners' anxiety and embarrassment about phonetic inaccuracies are greatly reduced.” I have no doubt that the application of CALL can contribute a lot to learners’language skills . I was thrilled to get linked to so much useful teaching material online. Imagine how many more interesting activities we can bring into our classroom! However, what also concerns me is how to make” learner autonomy” happen in every one of my students. Without doubt, a computer program can provide endless repetitions and therefore meet the learners’ needs. Nevertheless, in the very beginning, the learner has to feel the “needs”. Any suggestion?
    Have a great day.
    Gladys

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    1. Hello Gladys,
      Thank you so much for your comment. I am also a freshman of the blog world, but I do my best to make my blog look like a book. Yes, I completely agree with you about this sentence you mentioned. In my opinion, teachers are not able to repeat a phoneme, a word as often as students would like because 45 minutes are not enough to complete everything. Concerning students' autonomy, I think that we need to have a lot of patience, enthusiasm and we will achieve our goals. I always tell my students to speak, speak and speak whether they make the mistakes or not because there is an old saying' we learn from the mistakes'.
      Best regards
      Have a nice day.
      Rade

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  3. Your blog is so colorful and I like the pictures! Are those your kids? With such an enthusiastic teacher, I'm sure your students will excel at whatever they set their minds to :) I was wondering... How do your students share what they have recorded online with each other? When do they get feedback on their pronunciation, intonation and vocabulary? I have learned that peer evaluation instructed by the teacher can be extremely helpful in learning a language!

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    1. Hello Anna,
      Thanks for your comment. No, these are not my kids. To tell the truth, all these things we learned in this fantastic course will be applied in my school in the future. After the first evaluation, I will let you know. Concerning their pronunciation, intonation and vocabulary, they get the feedback during the class. But classes are not sufficient because the class lasts for 45 minutes in my country and they have English twice a week. So, this way of learning and teaching will help me a lot.
      Kind regards...
      Rade

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  4. Rade, I totally agree with you in your assessment of the week 3!
    It has indeed been a week where we learned lots of useful things which will definitely be rewarding for us and for our students. I like the site that you have found http://www.eslradio.net/ that deals with the developing of listening skills. I also like that you have mentioned the "Conversation" software, since I share your opinion that it is a useful tech tool which can be very useful for students when practicing pronunciation. Honestly, I am just wondering where and how we might get our hands on this "Coversation" software so that we can distribute it to our students.

    Best regards!

    Davor Smolic

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    1. Hello Davor,
      Thank you for your comment about my blog. ESL radio is so fantastic where students can improve their listening skills. I discovered one at www.rjcooper.com/turn-talking/index.h. Try this one and tell me what you think about it.

      Best regards

      Rade

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  5. Dear Mr. Rade,

    Your blog was impressed me. what you've done was great. would you kindly please give your E-mail address, Mr.Rade?

    ReplyDelete