- Listen to me! is a wonderful application for pronunciation practice. It might be useful to ask your pupils to download a dictation app, if their own device does not offer such application standardly. The application turns speech into written language, it is important that the pupils use a clear pronunciation; otherwise the application might not understand what they have said. In this way, students can practice and experiment with the right pronunciation. If they pronounce a word in a wrong way, the app will show a different word, which allows pupils to experiment; they will notice that there was something wrong with the pronunciation, and have to try again. This leaves less room for errors and mistakes; they can use this application as a test, and might reduce their fear of speaking. This also leaves more breathing space for the teacher, because they get a helping hand from the application considering pronunciation.
- Talking Tom, MemeSpeakTheApp, Plotagon and other avatar-applications might be efficient to offer practice to your pupils. It offers the pupils to time to organise their thoughts and lets them rehearse. In this way, pupils with anxiety to speak in public might prefer this option. It is also an attractive way to make a speaking exercise less ‘school-like’. Most pupils know Talking Tom from their spare time, and might never expect this application to be used in a school context. The funny voices may also reduce the fear and anxiety. Tip: offer clear scaffolding and instructions, otherwise pupils might get too excited and could not take this exercise seriously.
- Let your pupils make a mindmap before they do a more traditional speaking exercise, where the presentation does not consist of an avatar-application. In this way you let your pupils make their own scaffolding, on which they can rely during the presentation. Let them present their mindmap in the beginning of the speaking exercise. Instead of bringing a sheet with keywords, they project their mindmap with a projector. Available apps or websites: MindMeister, Mindjet MindManager, XMind, Freemind, SimpleMind+… You can also let them make a word cloud or a Wordle instead of/next to a mindmap, keep in mind that a Wordle looks very nice, but has less meaningful structure than a mindmap.