This is a guest post by Agi Bodis, Melissa Reed and Yulia Kharchenko, Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University, Sydney.
Three weeks into our TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) postgraduate teacher training program the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown was announced in Australia. As university courses swiftly moved online, we were left with the task to continue the practical microteaching elements of a teaching methodology unit. These typically involved students doing short peer-teaching to develop practical teaching skills. … Continued
Research tells us that combining orthographic and phonological forms of language has many benefits for language learning. Nakashima, Stephens and Kamata (2018) found that reading-while-listening increases comprehension. Mestres, Baro and Garriaga (2019) found that combining text with audio helps children (10 to11 years of age) obtain higher vocabulary when learning a second language. Valentini, Ricketts and Pye (2018) had similar findings with children between 8 and 9 years of age when reading short stories. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader Luisa Josefa Corsi García.
I want to share some of the benefits I had after taking a short teacher training workshop on VoiceThread. Thanks to that course I was able to learn how to use some extra tools that the VoiceThread offers to us, such as the video VoiceThreads that I was not using up to that moment. I was truly motivated by concrete pedagogical concerns in the speaking component that pushed me to innovate using new technologies with my undergraduate students at Los Andes University. … Continued
Any teacher who asks students to read materials understands the important of reading comprehension. Whether you are an elementary school teacher who teaches reading, a foreign language teacher who works to build fluency, or a history teacher who wants students to learn about WWII from their textbook, comprehension is vital to the process.
As Daniel Willingham points out in his NY Times Op-Ed, comprehension isn’t simply about decoding; it’s also about vocabulary and context. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader Dr. Daisy Sam.
I have been a classroom teacher since 2005. My only break from the classroom was in 2011 when my family moved from RI to NJ and this year school year as we made another transition from NJ to FL. Sometimes the teaching life is so involved you seldom have time to sit and reflect on the lessons you have created. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Dana Heimlich, MS,Ed.
I love VoiceThread! I love it so much that I’m always tweeting my gratitude to them–which is how I ended up writing this guest blog post (seriously). I’m very excited to share my experiences in the hopes that it might inspire you to give VoiceThread a try!
I discovered VoiceThread years ago as a high school German teacher. … Continued
We are proud to announce a new online course for language teachers! Join us and discover how to design powerful VoiceThread lessons and assessments for your language learners. This week-long course is designed to give you a genuine learning experience through lesson analysis, discussion, and creation.
There is a live info session webinar before the course starts, but the course is asynchronous, so you can participate when you have time throughout each day. … Continued
This is our third post in the VoiceThread A to Z series. In the first post, we discussed ways to use VoiceThread for early semester activities and in the second post we discussed creating presentations. This post will focus on incorporating storytelling into your curriculum. Upcoming posts will focus on other innovative lesson design and assessment ideas. Stay tuned!
Which types of courses can use storytelling as a lesson design framework? … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Jennifer Starkey.
For the past few months I have had the privilege of being involved in a teacher professional development program called Finnish Connections, Collections, and Reflections at North Carolina State University. One of the goals in this program is for the participants to connect with other cultures through global, collaborative, classroom projects.
For our project, I worked with my colleague Andrea Echols who is a second grade teacher and also part of the Finnish Connections program. … Continued
This is a guest post by Educator and VoiceThreader, Mary Ellen Davies
How do you connect four Chinese classes from two schools located in different states who meet at completely different times? Why, VoiceThread of course!
When learning a new language, it is important to speak that language as much as possible! World Language instruction has evolved to focus on a communicative approach. Students communicate in the target language with their teachers and classmates but rarely have the opportunity to connect with other target language learners. … Continued
This is a guest post by educator and VoiceThreader, Marleah Jacobson.
VoiceThread meets Deaf education and magic happens. Magic in the form of a classroom erupting with language; both English and American Sign Language.
Once the Deaf and hard of hearing students in my 3rd-5th grade classroom have the chance to respond to questions, process new material and express their ideas in a language that is fully accessible due to its visual nature–American Sign Language–I see marked growth in their abilities to understand and produce written English. … Continued
Are you looking for ways to empower your students to be more creative? Picture books are a great way to bring your students’ imaginations into your curriculum.
At VoiceThread, we think every student should be heard, but with the time constraints of a class period, not every student has that chance. Why not let them each record their version of a story in one of the picture books that you use with them? … Continued
This is a guest post by language educator and VoiceThreader Araceli Trujillo.
As an online Spanish instructor, I can say that VoiceThread has revolutionized my course design and teaching. VoiceThread is a tool that enables students to practice their listening and conversational skills for language courses in a fun and engaging way. They can listen to dialogues and comment orally on images and videos. VoiceThread allows language teachers to replicate to a certain extent what is done in an in-person classroom. … Continued
This is a guest post by Spanish educator and VoiceThreader, Laura K. Sexton, MA/NBCT.
There are three people that need to see my students’ VoiceThread e-portfolios for Spanish: them, me, and everyone else.
E-portfolios help my students watch themselves grow, and VoiceThread allows them to demonstrate that growth in their reading and writing as well as their speaking and listening— something you just can’t do on paper. Portfolios, unlike tests or quizzes, also help me evaluate not just the depth, but also the breadth of each student’s Spanish abilities. … Continued
Would you like to connect with an author for World Read Aloud Day? Your students can add their voices to a collaborative VoiceThread with author Kelly Young-Silverman and illustrator erin the great for their book Man in the Moon!
About Man in the Moon:
“Man in the Moon is a beautifully illustrated story about an inquisitive little girl who reaches for the moon and finds a friend. This sweet rhyming tale follows our young heroine on a magical journey as she learns that any acquaintance can easily become a friend and no matter how small you may feel (especially compared to the great big moon) you are special to someone. … Continued
Read alouds are a staple in many classrooms around the world. We know that read alouds can be beneficial for both older and younger students. Creating a VoiceThread read aloud can be a wonderful learning experience for all students and a great way to assess reading ability for their teachers.
However, listening to students reading a published work by an author they love on a VoiceThread is tricky when we consider copyright and fair use rules. … Continued
Connecting your students with other classes around the globe for World Read Aloud Day can be tough. Scheduling a live skype session with a school in a different time zone can be a deal-breaker for what would otherwise be a wonderful learning experience for your students. Even when you overcome the scheduling issues, technology can fail to cooperate. Sometimes their mic isn’t working, sometimes your bandwidth ruins the idea, sometimes the server goes down or your principal decides to have a fire drill halfway through. … Continued