Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why did you create this new site? You already have a number of others including Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab (www.esl-lab.com).
Well, as I continue to develop my other Web sites, I am always trying to come up with new ideas for online learning that attempt to fill a current interest or need. In this case, I am trying to provide addition listening and speaking material in a different way, and I am linking these activities to my main Web site to complement what I have already done.
2. What service are you using to create your materials?
I am currently using service called Voice Thread (www.voicethread.com) that serves as the platform for my materials. For you as visitors, it is completely free to use for posting unlimited comments in audio and text format, and because it is very simple to use, it is one ideal way of allowing people to share their ideas. To create all of the content, I am using a business Voice Thread account for which I pay a yearly fee, but I think it is well worth the features that I receive to create the content for you.
3. Can anyone leave comments?
Absolutely. Visitors are encouraged to participate by sharing their ideas, and it doesn't matter if you are a native speaker or a beginning student who is just getting started in the language. All comments are moderated (checked) before they are posted to verify the quality of content and recordings, and comments are usually posted within 12 hours. For this reason, keep your comments appropriate for a language-learning audience. Also, please use a good quality microphone (preferrably a headset) so the recordings are of a high quality.
Also, you delete any of your comments at any time by logging into your Voice Thread account.
4. I left a comment, but I don't see it. Why?
There are several possible reasons why you might not see a comment you posted:
Respecting users' rights is very important to me, and when people make comments on my Voice Threads, they are assuming that the files will appear on this service only. Visitors to my site haven't given permission to have their voices appear elsewhere, including in downloadable audio files. I just want to assure people that I appreciate their contributions to my Voice Threads and they know how they will appear.
However, in some cases, I have created a downloadable version with a limited number of comments for which I have permission, and this file can be used for personal offline use for self study or teachers can use them for classroom instruction with the following restrictions. The files cannot be:
6. Who are some of the main voices in the recordings? They sound familiar.
If you noticed similarities and have caught on to that point, then you are on your way to improving your listening skills. Recording materials for language skills is a careful balance between authenticity and relatively accurate language structure. Many English teachers and students are looking for different voices, and at the same time, are searching for careful samples that model common language patterns by which learners can follow.
With this goal in mind, I try to provide different voices in combination with other comments left by visitors. In that way, users can find a mixture of voices to choose from depending on their goals.
I greatly welcome other speakers (native or non-native) from around the world to contribute their voices to the project. The wider the variety, the more interesting the activities can become.
7. How can teachers and students use the recordings on this site for language teaching and learning?
So, how can you use the comments you read and see to improve your language skills? Here are some ideas:
Ideas for Students:
|Language learners from around the world can share their thoughts on English and culture with their world neighbors.|