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Presented for the Electronic Village Online by Buthaina al-Othman and Elizabeth Hanson-Smith

The full recording of voice chat, whiteboard, Web tour, and text chat is available at [no longer available]. You must be registered and logged in to view the presentation record.

Author's Bios
Pedagogical Background
Multimedia & Video

Buthaina al-Othman buth

I taught Remedial English and English for Science, (EfS) classes since
I started my teaching profession in the English Language Unit at the
 College of Science, Kuwait University,
since 2001. Before that I used to be a

full time journalist at Kuwait News Agency, (KUNA) and then a free
lancer working for a number of local Arabic newspapers.

I am a volunteer online teacher/facilitator at EFI-StudyCom:, a virtual school that provides free English
classes for EFL/ESL learners. During this coming EVonline 2006
event, I'll be co-moderating of the session, Tips & Tricks for
Online Teachers, together with my EFI_StudyCom colleagues, Allyson,
Mal, Deena, and David Winet, the founder of StudyCom. At EVonline
2005, Christine Parkhurst and I co-moderated the session, Making the
Transition from ESL to ESP that helped me learn more about teaching
and learning ESP classes in general.

Elizabeth Hanson-Smith ehs
I was founder and Coordinator for a number of years of my university's TESOL
graduate program and of our American Language and Culture Program.
I co-authored a couple of books on technology, including, with Joy Egbert, CALL Environments: Research, Practice, and Critical Issues (2nd ed in the works).  I wrote Constructing the Paragraph, currently available online.

Most recent projects: A new book with Sarah Rilling, Language Learning Through
. I'm also consulting on a collaboration between CSU, Sacramento, and Dongduk Women's University in Seoul, Korea, on an online Masters in TESOL with a Multimedia Concentration.

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Pedagogical Background

Oral skills practice involves:

A) Rehearsed speech for pronunciation and intonation

Scripting and editing (writing skills)
Checking vocabulary, e.g., with online dictionary (try or concordancing (use Google search to find instances of expressions, or LexTutor for more extensive help).
Recording, e.g., voice mail, podcast or Webcast production, video production (see Tools below)
Self-, peer, and teacher evaluation (see RubiStar for a variety of online rubric-makers)

B) Impromptu speech to use what is learned
     Comments on podcasts or video
     Oral peer- and self-evaluations

C) Authentic audiences, tasks, and contexts to motivate


     Form collaborations in groups and across cultures   
     Use content-based instruction (CBI) for authenticity

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The following section offers examples of types of tasks, audiences and contexts:


Aiden Yeh's students podcast their prepared speeches and then self-evaluate orally and more informally:
Source: Aiden Yeh, Kiaosiung U, Taiwan

The Bardwell Road Centre students take turns hosting interview-based shows on specific topics. For instance, Hyemi interviewed peers about films and cinema, preparing for the show by choosing the topic, preparing a scripted "intro" and "outro", and writing a number of conversation-starting questions, from which interviewees chose two or three questions that they were happy to talk about. The shows combine writing and some rehearsing of oral responses. Topics might be holidays (see recent Valentine's Day interviews on love and marriage), hobbies, local nightlife, foods, etc.--all conversation starters for cultural exchanges.
Source: Geoff Taylor, St Clare's, Oxford, England

Students in Germany prepare a radio play, creating a story and script and producing episodes each week. The stories are broadcast over a local public radio station, thus lending authenticity:> or <
Source: Uwe Klemm, School Master's Blog
(Second Show is Chapter 1 of the students' play)

Marsha Chan explains how to use Audacity to insert comments, for example, on pronunciation, into student audio files: Using Audacity to Provide Comments

Lee Baber's 8th-grade students are documenting their computer literacy class with podcasts at CompTech8.

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Multimedia & Video

Involves more preparation than audio productions, and thus more scripting, story-boarding, rehearsing, etc.

1) Screencasts (operations on screen are recorded by the computer into video files):

In one semester, one class produced 114 of these little movies to help students of varying ages understand a variety of math concepts while practicing language in a particular content area. or
Source: Sue Lister's blog: Technology Enhanced Learning or

Screencasts are incredibly useful for learning new technologies. Here is one describing how to make and edit an Audacity audio recording on your desktop: or
Source: Matt Pasiewicz, EduCause, Audacity Screencast Test


2) Video & Editing - special events, famous locations, content projects, etc. - have students describe processes, values, emotions, understandings, etc. Especially valuable when cross-cultural or curriculum-based content is used:

Nipissing University Art Teacher, Liz Duncan, encourages all the pre-service teachers to enter the "We Practice What We Preach" Art Show with their recent masterpieces. A 2-minute, 10-second video captured over two days shows the class doing ’sculpture in the round’ using plasticine. This is a silent video, but your students can comment orally on the processes and their relationship to their work, either scripting beforehand or not.
Source: Sue Lister's Blog, New Media Workshops

Dafne Gonzalez's archictecture students prepared Powerpoint demonstrations of Modernism and presented them to foreign teachers as they would in an architectural firm. Archiving of the presentations at LearningTimes allowed students to review and self-evaluate their performance. For a visual display of the course organization, see
Source: Dafne González, Simón Bolivar University, Caracas, Venezuela

Zuihoden (3 min. 30 sec) - This student project involved students writing the script and rehearsing before filming. It involved about 6 hours of editing after the filming, including cutting down the Japanese interview and adding music, etc. Describing famous local places is a good basis for cultural exchange. Another popular topic is "What-if history," where students discuss how history might have been--if for example, the US had lost the Revolutionary War. [link may be broken temporarily]
Source: Nicolas Gromik, Video_Editing4ESOL EVO session.

Production by students of the Centro de Investigación en Docencia Económicas (Economics Teaching Research Center) located in Santa Fe, Mexico City. This is a small group (4 students). They wrote the script and organized the entire structure of this teaser to introduce a documentary video (full production not yet complete) on Mexican immigration to the USA. They will use interviews in the final production, but it involves considerable pre-planning and scripting: Course syllabus (video links to successive drafts at the bottom of the page). [opens movie directly]

Source: Bernardo Hern <bjhmarquez @>, Video_Editing4ESOL EVO session


3) Impromptu interviews (roving camera or audio recorder) - involve much less scripting and reheasing but promote authentic language use:

Buthaina interviews Arabic-speakers on-the-street as practice for listening for an Arabic class in Ohio:

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Audio Recording:
Audacity records whatever is input on your computer
Educause's Screencast tutorial in using Audacity

Podcast makers:
Odeo or PodOMatic allow you to record directly on their sites, or upload a file.
Gigadial to keep track of all your favorite podcasts--direct download of mp3 files for listening.
     See Graham Stanley's station for several EFL/ESL examples

Screen recording software:
Google "screen capture" to find a wide variety of free or low cost tools appropriate to your particular computer, e.g., Screen Recorder.
Video Blogs - Vlogs

YouTube allows storage and tagging of your video files in a blog format. Appears to be easier to use than (see below).
Internet Archive or store your videos and allow searches of public content. You must register with both to use the archiving facilities.

Video editing applications:
Movie Maker (Microsoft) or iMovie (Mac) are free--may be on your computer already, or download from their respective sites.
Freevlog has excellent tutorials on how to do everything with video, both for Mac and Win/DOS, using either  iMovie or Movie Maker. Tutorials are offered in screen capture videos or downloadable .pdf files.

Video sources:
Internet Archive or store your videos and allow searches of public content. You must register with both to use the archiving facilities.
FilmedWorld delivers online films created by students from around the world and hosts film contests in order to promote the use of video in language learning.
See also Elizabeth's pages, Video Online and Video Online References for more video resources.

Teaching and learning sites

Academic Writing - For students and classes; see resources

Academic Writing for Teachers - For NNS teachers to find peer assistance and to discuss pedagogical questions, arrange collaborations, etc.

Real English Online - Teachers can discuss video- and audi-related questions; students can access free video resources to practice English; great archive of video resources online:
See also for free online vide-based lessons: <> - free writing lessons and assistance

Text Blogs

Not ready yet for multimedia? Start your students out with simple text blogs, as in the examples below. Many of them offer the opportunity to add images, which your students no doubt will be wanting to experiment with.

Bee Dieu (Brazil) regularly uses blogs for her high school EFL students: Blogging from the Tropics.

Jane Petring (Canda) has her advanced student blogs linked from English CEF Blog.

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González, D. & Esteves, L. (2005). Enhancing collaboration through chat in ESP: A conversation analysis. Presentation at the Webheads in Action Online Convergence, November 18-20.
For a visual display of the course organization, see

page and informative content copyright al-Othman and Hanson-Smith
may be used with reference to authors
updated February 16, 2006