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Pronunciation and Accuracy in Speaking with Voice Recorders !
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Aims: • • To encourage learners to repeat spoken language until utterances are correct To help learners listen to themselves, notice how they speak and self-correct

Materials required: • A voice recorder with a speaker (Mobile phones usually have voice-recording software and a speaker.) Appropriate for: • Teachers with any level of experience Applicable to learners: • Teenagers Using a voice recorder can make speaking activities more interesting. However, asking teenagers to repeat what they’ve said when they say something incorrectly or to correct their pronunciation can often be difficult. With a voice recorder, speaking activities take on more importance because learners feel that what they say is being captured ‘for the record’. With a voice recorder, a teacher can ask learners to get it right because their speech is being recorded, and when they use the voice recorder, learners can instantly hear what they sound like. Playing back what they say immediately after they have said it allows leaners to hear themselves as others do. They can pay attention to how they speak, both in terms of the common errors they make and their pronunciation. For the voice recorder to be effective, learners have to get used to it and need to consider it as just another classroom tool. Some learners may be self-conscious at first. To overcome this, record frequently, leaving the voice recorder on a desk without necessarily doing anything with the recordings. When you feel that your learners have become accustomed to the device and the recording, start using it as outlined below.

Cambridge English Teacher © Cambridge University Press and Cambridge English Language Assessment 2014

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Task • Accustom your class to the voice recorder by explaining that you want to make a class record of the best examples of what they can say. Make a point of actually creating this portfolio of your learners’ speech, although the main reason you want to make recordings is so you can play what they say back to them and help them improve their speaking. • Use the voice recorder frequently so the learners get used to being recorded and recording becomes just another tool to help them learn. • Depending on what your learners need, focus on intonation, stress or other features of pronunciation. Use your course book audio as a model if appropriate. • It may be that learners also make common mistakes when they speak, in which case, you can take advantage of those moments as well. Ask the learner who spoke to identify the error when you replay what he or she said. Encourage this 'noticing' in class, and your learners should soon be correcting themselves when they speak. • When you notice something that a learner would benefit from repeating and getting right, ask the learner to repeat it for the voice recorder. Be sure to ask learners to repeat things they say something particularly well into the voice recorder, too. Further reading Stanley, G. (2013) Language Learning with Technology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. !

Cambridge English Teacher © Cambridge University Press and Cambridge English Language Assessment 2014

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