Using VoiceThread to enhance second and foreign language skills

Kelly Torres, Florida State University

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Students are growing up in a digital age where technology is being integrated into all aspects of their life (e.g., education, social). Therefore, educators have become aware that technology may have an impact in student learning outcomes. One commonly used type of Web 2.0 technology that is being integrated into classroom settings is VoiceThread. Educators who use this technology are able to provide their learners an online social networking tool that allows discussions to occur in an asynchronous environment.

VoiceThread activities may be particularly useful for second and foreign language learners since they are provided a forum in which they can listen to information multiple times prior to providing a response (e.g., directions, prompts, readings, classmates’ responses, etc.). Teachers are also provided the opportunity to capture all students’ interactions which can be difficult in a face-to-face setting. Specifically, all students are able to participate in activities and provide a response that helps to demonstrate their level of language proficiency and/or their level of content knowledge. During these types of activities, learners are also provided the opportunity to review and record their responses numerous times before providing their final response.

Educators can also incorporate VoiceThread activities to provide language learners opportunities to practice all four language skills. For example, a teacher could upload videos, lectures, or games (e.g., Simon Says) in which learners are required to provide a written and/or vocal response. Learners are also able to comment on their classmates’ responses and receive feedback from a variety of resources (e.g., teachers, classmates, administrators). Additionally, language learners have the opportunity to practice their language skills outside of the classroom setting. This can be essential for language learners who have limited to no access to the target language in their home or community settings. Through this poster presentation, participants will have the opportunity to view a variety of VoiceThread activities created for language learners. Moreover, to provide a better understanding of VoiceThread, this presentation will provide an overview of how to incorporate VoiceThread into educational settings to enhance learners’ development of all four language skills.

Kelly Torres

Assistant Instructor
Florida State University