This week I have decided to talk about Voki, which I believe is a great tool to help second language learners practice their oral skills. Often, students are very nervous about doing an oral presentation. Of course, they should have to do some presentations, but Voki can be another way the teachers assess the progress of their students, on the first competency, oral production.
Voki allows you to create an avatar, that you can personnalize. You can then add dialogue for the avatar to speak. This can be shared via e-mail or on websites, for example. Here is the tutorial from Voki on how to create your avatar:
To me, Voki seems like a fun way to get students to talk in their second language. Since they are working on a computer, are being creative and are having fun at the same time, they are more likely to enjoy the activity and to fully participate. There are many ways to use Voki in the ESL classroom. Here are a few ways, suggested by EDtech.com, to use Voki in class ( http://edtechreview.in/news/337-use-of-voki-for-classroom):
- using Voki for a debate can be a fun way to get students to give their opinion about a topic
- students can practice their speech and listen to it to see how it really sounds (practice words they have trouble with)
- they even suggests using it as a proofreading device for their written texts
Another interesting idea I found on the Voki blog by a guest blogger was to use Voki to create an avatar based on something they learned during class. For example, if the students learn about Martin Luther King, they could recreate one of his speeches in an avatar. This would be a great way to practice their oral skills while also learning historical things or any other important aspect in the world! (http://blog.voki.com/2013/07/11/guest-blogger-carmen-brettel-how-to-use-voki-in-the-classroom/).
Voki is a great tool that every teacher should use once in a while, I believe! It really gives students the opportunity to talk while using computers! Teachers could also use it to make their lessons more interesting, from time to time! To conclude, I recommend you take a look at this website, as it offers a very detailed ”How to” for Voki: