TESOL Technology: Listening and Writing
A place to share ideas, resources and projects related to Computer Assisted Language Learning for ESL teachers and students.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Listening and Writing

Listen and Write is a web site that offers practice with listening and typing. It has leveled (1-28) video and audio clips from movie trailers to current news events. The exercises allow students to listen to texts or videos and type the words with immediate feedback. Some of the videos come from YouTube while a large portion of the audio texts come from voanews.com giving the teacher a great wealth of current and relevant events for further discussion and writing. There is also a function that allows you to upload your own recorded videos or narrated text (you must have the full transcript to upload as well).

The exercises are available in several languages (i.e. French and Korean) but mostly English and there are three exercise modes: full mode (type the entire word as it’s heard); quick mode (type the first letter of the word as it’s heard); and blank mode (fill in the blanks with the missing words). Each of these modes has a hint button that will give the next letter of the word; if the entire word is given then that word is typed in a different color and placed in a ‘Dictionary Box’ at the bottom with a link to an online dictionary.

The site offers many possibilities for listening and typing/writing practice with exposure to real life situations, current events and pop culture to keep students interested. The topics from the online activities can then be turned into further writing assignments with summaries or continuation of research on topic. It also offers a great way for students to hear spoken English at higher levels with the support of both seeing and hearing the words and having the hint button available for quick help with unknown words.

One exciting feature is the ability for the teacher to upload video clips with tailored recordings or to narrate a text of their choice. In this way, the teacher can tailor the listening and writing activities to his/her students’ levels and interests while corresponding the exercises to the content/material being studied by the class.

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