How to Make Language Learning Engaging with VoiceThread

Speaking and listening are a big part of what Language Teachers do in face to face classrooms, but it can be difficult to replicate these activities in online courses. So many online courses silence student voices and that is a big problem for language teachers. VoiceThread can be the solution to this problem because it humanizes the online learning experience for students. Here are six ways VoiceThread can be used in language teaching:

  1. Speaking Practice: VoiceThread allows students to practice their speaking skills by recording comments in the target language using audio or webcam comments. You can create prompts or questions related to the language topics being studied, and students can respond with their recorded answers. This provides an opportunity for students to practice pronunciation, fluency, and oral communication skills.

  2. Listening Comprehension: You can record or upload audio and video slides and then ask students to listen and respond with their comments. Students can answer specific questions, summarize the content, or engage in discussions related to what they heard. This helps develop listening comprehension skills and encourages active, authentic engagement without the stress of live conversations.

  3. Pronunciation and Intonation Practice: VoiceThread allows you to provide targeted feedback on students’ pronunciation and intonation. Students can record their spoken responses, and teachers can respond with voice or text comments, offering guidance, corrections, and suggestions for improvement. This personalized feedback can help students refine their pronunciation skills. You can respond directly to each student using the Threaded Reply feature.

  4. Oral Presentations: VoiceThread can be used for student presentations in the target language. Students can create multimedia presentations by uploading slides, images, or videos and adding their voice narration. This allows them to practice their presentation skills, demonstrate their understanding of the topic, and receive feedback from both the teacher and peers.

  5. Collaborative Projects: VoiceThread facilitates collaborative language learning projects. Students can work together on a shared VoiceThread, adding their voice or text comments to contribute to a discussion, debate, or group project. This promotes collaboration, critical thinking, and communication skills in the target language.

  6. Cultural Exploration: VoiceThread can be used to explore and discuss cultural topics related to the target language. Teachers can upload images, videos, or articles that represent different aspects of the culture, and students can share their observations, ask questions, and engage in cross-cultural discussions through their comments.

These are just a few examples of how VoiceThread can be used by language teachers, but you can transform any of your current lesson and assessment ideas into VoiceThreads. The ability to use multimedia slides, interactive commenting, and the power to provide personalized, human feedback make VoiceThread a versatile tool for enhancing language learning and promoting communication for any languages that you teach.