Voice Recorders Can Improve Learning
Modern technology for digital audio recording offers unprecedented ease in voice recordings. There are several teaching and learning purposes why a lecture or class session might be recorded or why students use voice recorders to support learning processes.
We have collected a few use cases that explain how our customers use voice technology to support learning.
Foreign language – Improve pronunciation and fluency
This is a classic! But when it comes to foreign languages there are actually several situations when audio recordings come in handy.
When the primary goal for students is to practice speaking the target language, hear how they sound, and improve their speaking proficiency, being able to play back your own voice has proven to be very beneficial. This kind of self-monitoring is an important part for all levels of foreign language learners. Students are able to reflect on their accent, grammar, fluency, intonation, etc. Recording provides a variety of purposes, including self-assessment, group work, dialogues, links to culture, and teacher assessment.
On the other hand, when teaching children with foreign background whose mother tongue is not the same language of the country they currently live in, recording voice can assist. It gives them time to put thoughts into words, if they cannot read or write the language yet and when their speaking abilities are still limited. When learners record themselves speaking they can also be made aware of their pronunciation challenges and work towards eliminating them. Recording yourself can also create a safer space for new language learners than speaking out loud in front of class.
Group activities – Foster more efficient brainstorming
We can all speak a lot faster than we can type or write. Although more fluent writers can quickly fill the page with possible topics and plans, hesitant writers may struggle to jot down even a few ideas. With audio recording, students can focus on the creativity and thinking instead of stressing over spelling errors. When students are asked to brainstorm in pairs or small groups, they can record their ideas. Recordings can be revisited later, if necessary, or used as a base from which to create more detailed notes.
Study aid – Take focus from writing to listening
Most frequently, lectures are recorded for use as a study aid. Some instructors see recorded lectures as an opportunity for students to review lecture material; others feel that without the pressure of writing down all lecture material, students can listen more attentively and can focus their notes on questions, connections, and conceptually complex ideas.
Speech improvement – Refine your voice
Voice recordings are a perfect practice for students (not only!) to record their speeches before making oral presentations. Later, they can listen to themselves and identify where they tend to stumble over difficult pronunciation, “um” and “ah” excessively, or lose the thread of their speech. Over time, learners can compile a collection of voice recordings that show their progress from beginners to advanced speakers.
The “question recorder” – Compile to-do lists and answer questions
Have a recorder ready for any quick notes! This counts for students and teachers alike. A constant flow of “notes to self” about student requests, items to research, or ideas for future lessons helps to not have to de-clutter handwritten notes at the end of the day. An official recorder in class can also be used by students to record questions that came up throughout the day. The teacher can then listen and prepare answers for the next day.
Self-assessment – Build your confidence
When students are self-assessing or reflecting on their strengths, or challenges, recording their thoughts instead of writing offers a space free of red pen marks. In audio recording, students can back up, self-correct, and restate as they think. Language learners are particularly fond of this approach: it’s a safer place to practice new vocabulary.
We hope these many use cases instill some new thoughts on how voice technology can support learning and much more. We are always interested to hear how people use audio recordings. Share your story with us!
Want to know more about voice recording and dictation? Check out our mini-series on “How to dictate”.