This is a powerful tool in the Modern Language classroom. It engages students’
higher order knowledge capabilities. It is a 21st century tool capable of engaging
students in multiple areas (Garcia A, 2010).
Audacity is a tool that facilitates and documents students’ practice in speaking the
target language. By recording themselves speaking with the software, students’
original language production is recorded and they have the opportunity to go back
and hear themselves speaking. Students are able to reflect on their accent, grammar, fluency,
intonation etc. This tool can serve a variety of purposes including self assessment, group work,
dialogues and links to culture (Terantino, 2011).
Audacity | website
Students have used Audacity in our classes. They feel more confident after practicing using the tool.
One of the projects where we used it was in a Spanish IB ab initio class. This course is an intensive
high school course that requires the students to speak fluently within the first year itself. During the
unit on houses and their objects, we decided to combine the use of this tool with Movie Maker to
create personal stories by the students. The students photographed the different furniture and
household items. Using Audacity they had to speak about how different things in their home reflect
their personality. Students not only enjoyed doing this project but it also helped them improve their
speaking skills considerably as they could record and rerecord to correct their own errors.
Technology helped engage students in the project as well as facilitate their learning. Over the years
this has become one of the most popular projects for my students where they can talk about how
their oral skills had improved.
These were some of the ways in which technology is currently being used in our Modern Language
classes. Other colleagues in our department are also using Wikispaces, Facebook and Voicethread to
help the students improve their speaking and writing skills. Some of us are also considering using
class blogs to improve written skills in a foreign language classroom. It is important to note here
that we continue to “focus on the functions of the technology rather than the tools or forms of
technology” (Frey, Fisher & Gonzalez, p. 6, 2010) as this guides us through the maze of the ever
expanding list of technological tools.
Castelberry G & Evers R. B. in http://isc.sagepub.com/content/45/3/201.extract
Frey, Fisher & Gonzalez, 2010, Literacy 2.0 Reading and Writing in 21st century classrooms
Garcia A in Solomon G & Schrum L., 2010 in Web 2.0: How-to for educators
Terantino J.M. (February 2011, Volume 15, No. 1) in Emerging Technologies You Tube for Foreign
Languages: You have to see this video in Language Learning & Technology
Evolutions : Tech Integration Stories from the American School of Bombay 63