Teaching With Tech:Teaching using Voice Recognition

Education is in constant transformation. Here is another example of a new technology that is here to stay, and will improve teachers' lives while improving students' learning experiences. Voice recognition is the name of the game. How can we apply this new tool in learning?

In our discussion today, we focus on speech recognition for ESL students, its uses and benefits. Many ESL students may feel shy or embarrassed about their spoken English. Often a shy student does not try to speak as much as he should, thus augmenting the time it will take to polish his speaking skills. Also, teachers do not have enough time in a classroom of 30 some students to give attention to each one and critique speaking skills.

Now teachers can utilize a new tool to extend themselves and give attention to all students. New software and programs provide voice recognition and voice-to-text for many applications. EnglishKey focuses on creating engaging activities for students in blended learning and self-study formats. Once a student has completed a lesson, he will have the opportunity to practice speaking by himself. For a beginner, we provide simple common sentences on the screen, which he will speak into the microphone. The system picks up the voice and writes exactly what was said onto the screen. If the pronunciation was good, the whole sentence will appear correctly on the screen and give a grade. Some basic examples: For a theme 'Nice to meet you', you could easily add sentences like "Hi, my name is Steve." "What is your name?" "My name is Josh." "Nice to meet you." These simple sentences can follow the theme you are teaching in class, using both vocab and grammar to reinforce content and hone speaking skills.

The more conversational practice a student has, the more he will gain diction accuracy, speaking skills and confidence. When a student re-reads what appears on the screen after he has spoken it, he can identify pronunciation errors and try it again to improve quality. Students can make as many corrections and changes as they wish. Since voice recognition activities are automatically graded, teachers can easily see how a student is performing at any time and give additional help where needed. Help your students today in a hands-off approach to boost their oral language skills and confidence.