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Voice and Video recordings as homework. Our talk from IATEFL. Part 1

It was the first time we presented at IATEFL. The talk went well and we were delighted to get positive feedback and so much interest in the topic from the audience. There were also a lot of questions we didn’t have time to answer or discuss.

Our talk was devoted to homework, making voice and video recordings, in particular.

We mentioned that we ask our learners to record their reading, retelling and a kind of ‘free speaking’.

But to begin with why we consider recording such a useful tool.

As we teach monolingual classes, there is super little English outside the classroom and most language learners tend to work on their new language silently (though only at the beginning of learning with us) recordings create a great opportunity to speak English. It also nudges shy learners to overcome their fear to speak.

With Young Learners who, living in non-English environment, see little sense in speaking it, recordings as homework make it a necessity to produce English.

So, reading. Learners record their reading a text.

Learners work on the text before recording it, i.e. clarifying unclear grammatical and lexical points. This clarification stage usually takes place in the classroom and later, when learners are used to this kind of work, it adds to their homework.

The advantages of recording reading are the following:

  • Learners repeat a good model of language including collocations and grammatical structures and word order.
  • Learners get chance of listening to themselves critically. They also tend to notice their own mistakes easier.
  • Teachers might easily notice learners’ problematic areas in pronunciation.
  • Teachers can also hear if learners understand what they read.

Here are some examples of our learners’ readings throughout the time (in the comments you can see the dates):

started learning English at 8 in 2013. You can hear him in


started learning english in Summer 2014, his English was pre-A1. Now he’s about to start preparation for FCE.


started learning English from scratch in February 2016.

We do hope you can hear the development and improvement our students have made. We do not claim that making recordings is the only possible tool to progress in language. It is definitely not. And we use a variety of techniques and methods in our teaching. But we do believe it does do its work in the most incredible way.

Next time we’ll show you examples of retellings our students make.

For now we’re looking forwards to your comments and we’d be glad to answer any questions!

Natalia and Alex



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This entry was posted on May 21, 2017 by in Lesson ideas, Uncategorized.
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