Smartphones, Recording, and Speaking: How Are They Related?

(A posting on relating smartphones to recording for speaking practices; fragment of an article)

Technically speaking, mobile phones having recording features are everywhere in the learners’ possession. The idea here is that learners record their voice using their smartphones talking about something of their choice: English-course topic, school-subject topic, current topic, feeling of something, etc.

They can tell about, narrate, describe, explain, argue, or give a speech on that something for as long as they can and want to (Antoni 1999 and to a certain extent Mendez 2010). Then they listen to it, paying attention to their language, intonation, tone, pronunciation, etc. They jot down odds and mistakes they made.

Then they record that again, this time making it better by self-correcting all that they have said wrong. Then they listen to the recording again. It goes on like this time and again until they think it is perfect, in fact so perfect they want to talk about something else now.

This self-recording is very effective as learners will find out how they actually speak and know their own mistakes. Learning is best and most effective when learners can learn from their own mistakes and odds that they realize and fix by themselves.

At a time when this convenience of mobile phones was non-existent as available were only recorders and microphones, Karen Price (in Rivers 1987: 161) says, “A natural extension of the widespread use of tape recording to let students hear their own performance… is an effective way for students to obtain immediate feedback on their nonverbal as well as verbal behavior.”

So, guys and gals, go ahead. Exploit your smartphones beginning now to practice speaking as much as you want to 🙂

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