What’s and How’s

WHAT LEVEL LEARNER DO THESE AUDIOS SUIT?

It’s an en easy question. My audios suit all of them. It’s just a matter of the teacher’s intuition and ability to adjust.

Take Counting Songs.  They’re 10 seconds long. The singer counts from 1 to 7, and then back. It seems like a beginning level activity. Can be. But I’ve used it at all levels. I’ve used it with teachers of English and teacher trainers of English. They think it’s easy the first time when they sing “1-2-3-4-5-6-7-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.” Of course, the song is 10 seconds long. Then, they are usually surprised to find that the “2-4-6-8-10-and-12? version is not so easy, especially counting backwards.

Next, I ask them to write their own number patterns to the karaoke version. We put these on the board and the entire group has to sing/speak them – again at fairly high speed. It’s not just counting anymore. This is tongue training. And because we do the song many times – each one different – there is a high amount of repetition, and repetition is key to language practice.

So a seemingly easy task becomes rich in practice for even advanced levels.

This is why Recycle Songs work for almost any level of learner. When learners compose their own words, they are writing to their own level and the level of their peers: beginners write simple patterns, PhDs write complex patterns.

Not all audios are beneficial to basic learners, of course. We don’t want to frustrate them with a lot of language they don’t understand. That’s why most of the audio on the site is VERY short. If the teacher presents a short audio task carefully, most students are going to succeed after a few repetitions. And isn’t that what we want – our students to succeed?

 

HOW DO I USE AUDIO IN THE CLASSROOM?

The audio files at ETseverywhere.com are in mp3 format. Most computers today will play mp3 files. Still, many English teachers consider themselves technically backward, and they shrink from the idea of anything more complicated than a cassette player.

There are many ways one can use these mp3s. Let me offer some suggestions.

Making an Audio CD: Yes, at some point you (or someone) will need a computer to access the audio. You are free to burn the mp3 files here onto an audio CD to play in the classroom. If you don’t have this capability on your computer, or if you don’t have a computer, find someone who does.

Using the Computer: If you have a laptop computer you can bring it to class and play the files using the computer’s built in speakers. For teachers giving lessons to small groups or private lessons, the volume level will be fine. For teachers with a large class, an option is to buy a small pair of speakers to connect to the computer.

The Computer Lab: Many universities and some schools have language labs with computers or computer labs. Ask some tech-savvy student to install the necessary mp3s on these computers. Then you can bring the class into the lab and students may listen at their own pace.

mp3 Players: mp3 players are becoming more common. Most of them are the handheld variety and are used with earphones. But now these handheld devices can be set into a little dock with a set of speakers. In the near future these will be very common.

Cassette Tapes: Many schools will continue to use cassette tape players for several years. Not too worry. Do you have a tape recorder with a microphone at home? Even a little hand-held recorder? Set the recorder next to the speakers of your computer. Play the mp3 file and record it onto the cassette tape. The sound quality is not perfect, but it is functional.

HOW DO I PUBLISH AT THE ETS EVERYWHERE WEBSITE?

Would you like to have your audios on this site? Great! There’s no pay, but you’ll get fame across the ELT community, so make your move!

To get published on English Teachers Everywhere is easy, just follow these simple steps:

Step 1. Take a look at the categories on the website, and choose one that interests you. In short, anything that fits the categories on this site I will consider putting up.

Songs and Poems
I welcome songs and poems, composed by students (or teachers) of English. In the case of a poem submitted, I may write music to it, creating a song activity. Keep in mind that songs at English Teachers Everywhere are very short (10 to 90 seconds), so lyrics should be mini. See Songs by Students for examples.

Little Stories
Record yourself telling a little story about something unusual that happened to you or that you heard about. It should be two minutes or less. If you are not a native English speaker, it’s no problem. All the better. See Little Stories for samples.

Other Voices
Send me an audio of a brief bio of yourself or an interview with someone you know. See Other Voices for examples.

Anything
So, really, anything you see on this site – jokes, culture stuff, holiday stuff, comedy sketches  – I will put up if it is a useful language learning text.

Step 2. Contact me and tell me what you have. I hope your audio is a file in mp3, wav, or aif format. The recording quality doesn’t have to be perfect; a little noise is okay. Note, that the majority of the audio files on this site are 1 minute or less, so think small.

3 thoughts on “What’s and How’s

  1. Thrilled to have found this resource! Will be using these materials in a Community English program and a workforce development ESL program as an ELF in the DR, and in training volunteer English teachers here – muchas gracias! So sorry I did not bring my accordion with me!

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