Oral skills

Using Audacity and Forum to practice Oral skills

Recently I got my Pri 4 pupils to use Audacity to do recordings of themselves reading an Oral passage and Picture Discussion in preparation for their oral examinations.

I felt that it was something interesting for both the pupils and myself. Many of my pupils were very focused and serious when they recorded their voices.

Here’s the rundown on what I did.

Lesson 1 (1h):

Pupils were taught how to use Audacity to do simple recording and how to export their recordings in mp3 format (which is smaller in filesize as compared to wav)

I supplied pupils with an oral passage and a picture. They did 2 seperate recordings, one for reading and the other for picture.

Lesson 2 (1h):

I already have a class forum where each pupils have their own account. So for this lesson, all I did was to create a topic in the forum specially for Oral Practice.

Pupils each created their own thread where they uploaded their recordings. This allowed them to access their recordings at home but the main reason was for them to give their friends feedback.

After they had uploaded their recordings, I got them to pair up and go into each other’s thread to listen to their friend’s readings and post a reply what they felt was good and what could be improved.

I, too, went into their threads and gave my own comments. This allowed me to give them feedback on their oral skills without them having to come to me one by one! This is amazing as it would be impossible to have a one-to-one oral practice in class. 

Challenges

The biggest challenge was hardware problems. I spent a lot of time going around checking why microphones were not working, why there was no sound, etc. Once those problems were more or less solved, the rest of the lesson went on smoothly.

However, I was left thinking. If I face so much difficulty getting my pupils to use the microphone for recording. What would the other teachers feel? Most likely, they would give up using Audacity to record given the amount of work needed to be done. How can I better support the teachers in this area?

Go check out what my pupils have done so far… Has anyone done something similar? Do share and learn from each other…