Friday, November 30, 2012

Vocaroo: Literally voicing out your opinion.

Teachers would usually ask students to write their opinions. However, Vocaroo brings about a change in classroom as it allows students to literally voicing out their opinions and record them. Exciting, isn't it? Vocaroo is a free online voice recorder which allows sharing not only via emails and by embedding it to websites, but also across social networks such as facebook and twitter. If teacher knows how to manipulate this tool wisely, it can be a very useful teaching material.

How to use it?

a) Create

Using vocaroo is very easy. The steps are as follows: 

To start recording, click "Click to Record."

When you're done, click "Click to Stop".

You can listen to your recording by clicking "Listen". If you are not satisfy with your recording and want to redo it, click "Retry".

When you are happy with your recording, click "Click here to save".

b) Share

1. Via email: Click "Email". A pop-up window will appear. Fill in the required field, and click "Send.

2. Embed to website: Click "Embed". Copy HTML code in the highlighted box and paste it where necessary.

3. Across webs and social networks: Simply share the link provided or click the provided button to share to respective network.

c) Other features

1. Download: You can save your recording by downloading it in various format. To download, click the desired format. Available formats are mp3, ogg, flac, wav. 

How could it be used in language teaching?

1. Assessing learners' speaking skill
Teacher asks each learner to create a blog which will be used as repository. Every week, teacher will introduce a few topics.  Learners will have to give their opinions on the topic which they favour and record them using Vocaroo. Then, they will need to embed the recording to their blog respectively.It should be noted that topics introduced should cover learners' interest so that they will be motivated to speak.

2. Pronunciation activity
Teacher will play an audio recording of a text. Then, teacher asks learners to read the same text aloud and record it using Vocaroo. Learners will listen to their own recording respectively and compare to the original recording. Having to do self-evaluation is believed to help learners improve on their pronunciation immensely because the improvisation occurs consciously as they will be aware of their mistake and weakness.

3. Speaking journal
Usually, teacher will ask learners to write journal. Vocaroo, however, allows speaking journal. Teacher will ask learners to produce one recording per week. In the recording, they can talk about anything (themselves, their life, a topic of interest, etc). The purpose is to build learners' confidence in using second language as well as encourage fluency.

4. Pre-reading/Pre-writing stimulus
Teacher can make an audio recording which related to the text or topic of the essay and play it in the classroom as a stimulus for a reading or writing lesson. 

5. Post-reading activity
After reading a text, teacher will ask learners to talk or give comment about the text and record it using Vocaroo. This activity helps teacher to check learners' understanding of the text.

  1. The tool is free and user-friendly.
  2. Doing assessment using Vocaroo helps to lower learners' affective filter as compared to having them speaking face-to-face to the teacher. Thus, allowing them to portray their real language ability.
  3. Accommodate learners who lacks self-confidence to speak in classroom.
  4. Re-record function allows learners to present their best product to teacher and fellows friends.

  1. Recording time is limited to 5 minutes only.
  2. Require internet connection.
This is an example of audio recording using Vocaroo which I've made myself:

Audio recording and upload >>