Do you have English learners that keep making the same mistakes week after week?
If so, then sending personalized audio can help your students overcome these mistakes and internalize correct English. This works for pronunciation and grammar errors, and it can also help them remember new vocabulary.
I explain all in this video and the post below.
(Please note: this is based on my experiences teaching one-to-one online, but at the bottom of the post I talk about how you can apply this to traditional lessons)
Watch in HD!
Decide on What Audio to Send
I send sentences based on what we go through in the lesson and the mistakes my learner makes (grammar, pronunciation etc.).
When mistakes are made, I write corrected sentences into the chat box. This allows me to easily record audio after the lesson, and additionally, I prefer correcting learners at a specific time instead of interrupting them while they are speaking.
Adding one or two more examples helps your learner with the problem they’re having. For example, if a learner says, “I enjoy to go there,” then you can create the following sentences:
- I enjoy going there
- Jack enjoys playing football
- I enjoy walking around the city
What you decide to record depends on many factors, but I suggest that you try to keep things as relevant to your learner as you can.
Record and Share the Audio
I prefer to use Audacity, but there are many other programs that allow you to record audio.
In a nutshell, it works like this:
- You record the audio for your learner
- Export the audio as an MP3 file and use the sentence as the name of the file
- Upload it to a folder learner has access to
When recording the audio, you might want to extend the recording so that your student can listen to the sentence and repeat it out loud without having to pause the individual tracks. I did this in the video above.
I use both Dropbox and Google Drive (GD) to share the audio with my learners. And like I mentioned in the video, using a desktop client for these programs makes uploading the audio much easier.
Alternatively, you can open dropbox/GD and drag the files into the relevant folder.
Getting Your Learner to Listen to the Audio and a Review
Some learners will listen every morning, while others will forget to do it. This post will help you if your learner is reluctant to do work outside of class.
I ask my students to listen three times a week, and repeat the sentences two to three times. If you want to systemize this, then you can create Anki flashcards.*
I like to review the sentences in the following lesson and beyond. I do this by asking the same or similar questions. And I think it’s important to view this as a long-term solution, especially for ingrained errors (one of my students took a LONG time before she started saying “people are” instead of “people is”).
Working in Groups
If you are teaching in a language school and work with groups, then you can still create personalized audio; it just won’t be as personalized.
For example, let’s say you’ve done a class on the present perfect, and you spot some mistakes made by one or more of your students. You can create audio for everyone in the class – they download this at home – based on the present perfect and the mistakes that your students make.
Over to You
I have found this method to help my learners create correct sentences in English and to overcome errors that a simple correction won’t fix.
And once you have the system down, it should only take you five-ten minutes to record the audio and send it your student.
Please let me know if you have any questions or thoughts about this.
* Spaced repetition software helps you create digital flashcards (with or without audio) and review them according to an algorithm that you set.