About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 136-143
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain

USE OF MOODLE TO DEVELOP SPEAKING SKILLS IN LARGE MONOLINGUAL GROUPS

E. Bañares

TESOL-SPAIN/ Colegio Ntra. Sra. Maravillas (SPAIN)
The main problem area when teaching English in the Spanish educational system is dealing with speaking skills. Day to day reality is 20 to 30 students per group, sharing the same mother tongue and three hours instruction a week. Due to excessive numbers, the difficulties in covering the syllabus, the amount of time requires in reporting and giving feedback to the students, and behaviour problems speaking activities may create, many teachers refrain from putting speaking activities into practice or reduce them to a minimum. As a result, students' speaking performance gets weaker and weaker.

Finding an effective way to develop speaking is one of the biggest challenges in non-English-speaking countries. Blogs, podcasts, wikis Web 2.0 tools have and enormous potential to improve tha language classroom. However, most of the tools used by language teachers were not designed for language purposes and there are no clear directions on how to use them in order to significantly imporve language acquisition. Evaluating the affordances and constrains inherent in the technologies is a key factor for successful integration since not all the technologies are aimes at developing the same skill.

'The Speakers' Corner' is a course developed under Moodle to provide the students with speaking practice both during the face-to-face sessions and at home, as homework. Moodle is an environment which integrates multiple technologies to support the learning process as a whole. It can be accessed from home, which means that speaking practice is not restricted to the classroom environment. 'The Speakers' Corner' is divided into 13 central topics and 6 additional blocks. There are also administrative blocks to help the teacher deal with reports and feedback.

The tasks of the central topics are ‘Reading aloud’; ‘Picture description’; ‘Add voice to your writings’; intonation practice; film reviews; questionnaires; exam preparation; a talking dictionary; and voluntary activities. All these activities are performed by the students orally, recorded and uploaded to the platform. The students record themselves at the school lab, during the face-to-face sessions using their cell phones or MP3s and at home. They upload their recordings themselves or send them to the teacher via e-mail or bluetooth (if they are recording during a face-to-face session).

The benefits of recording the students' performance are:
1.- They have more speaking practice and practice makes perfection;
2.- they pay more attention to pronunciation because they will be listened to by the rest of the group;
3.- skills integration is a reality since they have to write, speak and listen: grammar and vocabulary are also benefited;
4.- motivation is high since they are the digital authors of the course content;
5.- recording their performance allows for focusing on individual mistakes. In this way individual needs are contemplated;
7.- shy students are not left behind; and
8.- discipline problems derived from speaking tasks are reduced to a minimum since they are recorded.

As for the teacher, the advantages are also outstanding since the recordings are kept in Moodle and it is possible to follow the students' progression.
@InProceedings{BANARES2010USE,
author = {Ba{\~n}ares, E.},
title = {USE OF MOODLE TO DEVELOP SPEAKING SKILLS IN LARGE MONOLINGUAL GROUPS},
series = {2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN10 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-9386-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {5-7 July, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {136-143}}
TY - CONF
AU - E. Bañares
TI - USE OF MOODLE TO DEVELOP SPEAKING SKILLS IN LARGE MONOLINGUAL GROUPS
SN - 978-84-613-9386-2/2340-1117
PY - 2010
Y1 - 5-7 July, 2010
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN10 Proceedings
SP - 136
EP - 143
ER -
E. Bañares (2010) USE OF MOODLE TO DEVELOP SPEAKING SKILLS IN LARGE MONOLINGUAL GROUPS, EDULEARN10 Proceedings, pp. 136-143.
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