Friday, December 28, 2012

ATDOP Spring 2012: Listening and Speaking Resources for Teachers

1. VOA Activities: Academic English

The VOA Activities website provides a variety of authentic materials and videos for improving listening and speaking skills.

  • Through practicing an activity called Communicating with Classmates in America, I learned some key communication skills, how to start a friendly conversation with an American classmate, and which topics are appropriate.
  • Knowing the elements that should be included and those that I should avoid in my speech will provide me with some confidence when talking with others. This activity also helps me to use natural accent and expressions when engaging in a conversation.

2. BBC: Learning English

It provides a lot of podcasts, stories, and reports. There are sections for pronunciation, vocabulary and quizzes. 

  • Listening to the Words in the News reports and stories, I learned how to pronounce words, identify the difference between the way we speak in natural situations and when reporting and build new vocabulary. 
  • These reports and stories help me to know more about the most recent topics with many new words. 
  • Podcasts section is another resource where I can listen to a variety of topics. I can consider them as a model before creating my own audio file reflecting on week 2 activities.

3. Guide for Educators:

Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators is a categorized list of sites useful for enhancing curriculum and professional growth. 


4. Screencast-O-Matic:

Screencast-O-Matic is a free, web-based tool that allows users to record their voices along with whatever’s happening on their computer screen. 

  • This tool improves my speaking, and presentation skills. 
  • It can help me to create oral presentations using some PowerPoint slides.
  • It allows me to produce some models for my students for the oral tests or tutorials (Sample) to accomplish required tasks. 
  • I can record my voice and listen to it in order to check my pronunciation, using stress and intonation … etc. 
  • It includes a feature of commenting, so I can get feedback from others about my choice of content, my way of presentation, speaking, and pronunciation. It can be an innovative way to answer my students’ questions about regarding projects, home assignments, and the problems they face when studying. It can also be considered a way for communication among students, teachers and parents.
This channel presents a series for Excellent English speaking. The channel team teaches people a new way to speak English fluently. 

  • I learned (7) rules of how to improve my speaking skills: study phrases not individual words, do not study grammar rules, listen first (learn with your ears not eyes), learn deeply by using and doing, use point of view stories to learn grammar implicitly, use real English materials, (e.g. read comic books, magazines, or listen to movies, TV news, podcasts etc.), use listen and answer stories focusing on how to think in English. 
  • This series provides me with some tips to speak in English quickly, easily, automatically, powerfully and confidently. 
  • Listening to this series is considered as an authentic input resource for me to correct mispronunciation of words and how to use stress in my speech. I learned some rules for a good oral presentation, e.g., how to balance between speech and body language.

6. NPR This I Believe:

This I Believe Series engaged listeners in a discussion of the core beliefs that guide their daily lives. We heard from people of all walks of life — the very young and the very old, the famous and the previously unknown.

  • I learned how other people from all over the world deal with problems. I also gained new experiences, different perspectives and attitudes towards the challenges I face 
  • in my daily life.
  • It can help me to listen to native speakers to pick up the correct pronunciation, stress and intonation.
  • It presents many essays with their audio files that help me to use more than one sense.
  • It includes various topics about many fields, e.g., science, medicine, history … etc. This will help me to enrich my mind and ready to speak about any subject. I consider this website with its stories as an authentic resource of listening and a good example and model for good speaking.

7. TED-ED Lesson Worth Sharing:

It is an extension of TED’s mission of spreading great ideas. You will find a lot of educational videos. You can browse them by series, subject, YouTube or recent activity. This platform also allows users to take any useful educational video, and easily create a customized lesson around the video.

  • It helps me improve my listening skills putting in mind the natural flow of accent.
  • It provides a variety of supplemental videos and lessons for me and my students.
  • When viewing these videos, I watch lessons, solve quizzes, think about open questions and find additional resources to explore the topics through the dig deeper section. It develops my critical thinking and searching skills.
  • Watching these videos, I can exchange successful practices about how to learn a foreign language.
  • I can also create lessons practicing my speaking skills and gain more self-confidence.

8. Knovio:

Knovio is an innovative tool for turning PowerPoint slides into rich online video presentations following 3 steps: uploading static slides, recording a video using a microphone and webcam and sharing the presentation via e-mail or social media.


  • It is a creative way to bring static PowerPoint slides into life by recording my voice and capturing a picture of mine.
  • It allows me to practice speaking skills and giving me more time for self-correcting and modifying speech.
  • It provides me a chance to improve my presentation skills.
  • It can be a rehearsal tool before my live presentation in front of a real audience.
  • It is an effective audio-visual tool that helps me to create tutorials and lessons for my students and other teachers. It can be a tool for reflection and self-talking about what I have learned. It can help me to see my progress in a certain course.

9. American English Pronunciation:

It offers free access to hundreds of pronunciation lessons and American English sounds. It also involves a lot of videos, podcasts, and minimal pairs drills. If you want to complete quizzes to assess your progress, you have to subscribe.


  • This website is considered as a good theoretical background of pronunciation skills and a start point for practicing many important aspects, e.g., vowels, consonants, stress, pitch and linking.
  • The Videos section is amazing as the speaker explains the way of pronouncing vowels and consonants with examples. To see how these segments are articulated helps me to pick up the correct pronunciation easily.
  • The Minimal Pairs section provides me with a variety of examples of these words that are identical but for one sound. It also allows me to complete listening drills and get a score. The Pitch section helps me a lot to identify the categories of intonations with live examples.

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