25 September 2010

Englishcentral.com

Well, things have been a bit hectic over the last few weeks with starting the Distance DELTA and starting the new year.  I haven't had much time to keep up with my PLN and probably won't until December (after the exam!).  In the meantime, I'm going to refer back to an excellent website that I came across last year and has been written about all over the ELT blogosphere for the past year or so.  I've already mentioned it on this blog but as we're having a big push on pronunciation and speaking skills at my academy I thought I'd revisit it.

Englishcentral.com is a free site where learners can practice their pronunciation by watching a video and repeating the dialogue.  Students score points according to how accurate they imitate sounds and intonation, etc.  Although it's not 100 per cent perfect (I only scored 850 out of 1000 as a native speaker - perhaps it's my British accent!) it is a great way for students to get an idea of how good their pronunciation is - and it's fun!  There is a huge selection of videos now categorised by topic and level so there is something for everyone.  Teachers can set up groups and invite students by email then monitor progress.  No marking is required by the teacher as this is all done automatically.  At present there is no breakdown of strengths and weaknesses, but I understand there are plans for this in the future.

I would definitely recommend this site for adult learners who are concerned about their pronunciation and use it for occasional homework for teenagers.  It would not be very practical in a class full of teenagers except for demonstration purposes, but it might be possible to use it with an adult class.

Here is an introductory video to show you how to get started!