Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Using VoiceThread for Language Learning

For students studying a foreign language, knowing how, when and why to say what to whom is their ultimate goal. One way they achieve this in the language class is through 3 modes of communication - interpersonal, interpretive and presentational. Voicethread has come into the HS Language learning classes to help students with these goals as well as master 21st Century skills of communication. What is VoiceThread? As defined from the Voicethread Website  "A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate slides and leave comments in 5 ways - using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). A VoiceThread can be shared with friends, students, and colleagues for them to record comments too." If you would like more information about this tool visit http://ed.voicethread.com/support/resources/websites/ SAS has subscriptions available. You need to contact your Technology Coordinator if you are interested. It is also available on the iPad

Ways that HS Language students are using Voicethread:
In beginning Spanish classes the students have created a Voicethread called Quien es? In their Voicethread students speak about who they are, their favorite clothes, hobbies, family and travel. This meets the presentational mode of communication especially when they share this with others for viewing. The students then interact with each others Voicethreads through comments and then this moves into the interpersonal communication. The ability to listen, read and respond in Voicethreads will demonstrate the 3rd mode of communication - interpretive.

In higher level Chinese classes,  students interact in class discussions about different topics through Voicethread. One example is the topic of Chinese medicine. Students research the topics and provide information to the class via a thread. They present their opinions and respond to each other demonstrating all 3 of the modes of communication.

By using Voicethread for language communication skills students are using the different modes of communication. As they present, share, listen and respond they are strengthening the skills needed to become a better foreign language speaker. These are just a few examples of how some HS teachers are using Voicethread. Please comment and share any other ideas of how you might be using Voicethread.

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