|Jean LeLoup & Bob Ponterio
Sometimes, without realizing it, we send the message to students that it is the written language that is most important. We evaluate more writing than speaking in homework and on tests and exams. If we want students to focus more on oral language, we need to put our money where our mouth is and assign more oral work. Here are two examples of tools that can aid us in assigning oral homework for language class.
You can set up a Google Account or perhaps you already have one. One of its many tools or features is Google Voice.
Google Voice gives you a free telephone number that you can use to call and receive calls through your account. It includes voicemail as well. Some Google Voice features cost money, but receiving voicemail is free and can be used to collect student audio homework.
Why would you want students to be able to respond orally to questions outside of the classroom? Think about that for a minute.
Students can call your Google Voice number.
Try calling my Google Voice number (607) 301-0834 from your telephone. Begin by leaving your name. Then answer the question or do the oral assignment. For instance:
Say, "Bonjour monsieur. Je m'appelle Snow White." (If you prefer, you can use Spanish or English. Also, if your name is not Snow White, please use your real name!) Tell me something about yourself.
You'll be able to access your students' audio responses to your assignment through your Google Voice account web page.
Think of an assignment that you might give yourstudents using Google Voice.
This site lets you create your own online activities where text, audio & video cues can be used to get oral or written responses from students. You can have 6 assignments for free.
We can insert text, images, video to set up an assignment. One balloon reads the teacher's prompt, and the other allows the student to respond.
To try it out, go here to answer two questions about what you want for breakfast in your best French. Or if you don't speak French, use English.... https://www.lingt.com/ponterio/
Lingt's online video tutorial provides a nice overview: https://www.lingt.com/tutorial/
Lingt Login: https://www.lingt.com/
For a simple solution, any app on your student's phone that can record audio can send it to the teacher as homework. Through the sharing menu, the student can then email the audio homework file to you or send it via another app (e.g. WhatsApp, Skype) or the cloud e.g. Google Docs, Dropbox, iCloud.
You might prefer to set up a separate email address for this to avoid using your regular email address.
Capturing student audio online
If you are just capturing student audio online, other simple tools you might try are:
Teens, Tech, and Homework Habits
Best Voice Recorder Apps for Android
Best Voice Recorder Apps for iPhone