Thursday, 23 November 2017

Build Speaking & Pronunciation Tasks into your Moodle Course

SpeechAce is a great Moodle plugin for anyone who wants to build speaking and pronunciation activities into their online course.
The plugin allows you to build tasks and activities into your Moodle course that require a verbal response and which gives students useful constructive feedback on their pronunciation.
Students simply click to record their answers or input, this can be the answer to a questions or can be based around a text they have read or a recorded model they have listened to and tried to imitate.

They then they get a score and an analysis of their answer. They can get word by word feedback on their performance and see which phonemes they produced successfully and which they still need to work on.

Installing the plugin is pretty simple and then you just select it from the main tasks menu whenever you want to add a speaking activity to your course.


If you build it into a tutored course the students scores are recorded in the grade book and teachers can go and listen to their recordings too. This can really make teaching preparation effective in a blended learning course.
Like many teachers and language course designers, I’m usually pretty sceptical about a computers’ ability to evaluate student speaking, especially given the range of variation in native speaker output, but I think SpeechAce does a really good job of getting students to produce language, giving them feedback on their performance and encouraging them to listen and try again. Building this kind of capability into an online language course, especially a MOOC type one that has much less teacher contact, could really help students to stay motivated and engaged for longer.

If you want to give it a try as a teacher then go to: https://playground.speechace.com/moodle/ where you can get access to the SpeechAce sandpit.

If you want to try it as a student then go to: https://app.speechace.co/placement/  and you can try a demo placement test.

I’ve known about SpeechAce for a couple of years now and it’s great to see how it has developed. It isn’t free, but the company is clearly putting their money into developing a constantly improving product and I think that’s something worth supporting.

You can find 100 + more tools and resources like this in my ebook Digital Tools for Teachers - Second Edition or if you want to train other teachers to use these kinds of tools check out the Teacher Trainers’ Edition.




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