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CATESOL 08 Presentation Notes on Using Free Voice-recording Software for Assessment and Practice

Part I Presenters’ Orientation towards education technology

Part II The Gift of Audacity
It’s a ‘tape recorder’ for your computer

How do we get it? Download it from the internet:
How do we use it? a. use it like a tape recorder. Press the ‘red’ round button to record, and press the ‘yellow’ square button to stop and so on. b. after recording, export it as an mp3 file, go to FILE and select Export As MP3 c. then, save it to your computer. d. important: to make your next recording, you need to click on the upper left-hand box to clear your old recording.

Part III Practicing iBT Speaking

1. What are iBT speaking tasks? 6 Types of iBT Speaking tasks
1) Independent free choice/Personal preference task (15/45); 2) Independent paired-choice task (15/45); 3) [Campus] Announcement/Discussion task (30/60); 4) [Academic] General/Specific task (30/60); 5) [Campus] Problem/Solution task (20/60); 6) [Academic] Summary task (20/60)

2. What do you do in class? Process: R-TEC (record-transcribe-evaluate-correct)
RECORD 1) Student at computer with headset on, 2) Open Audacity and set up, ready to record, 3) Questions are displayed through projector or read by the instructor, 4) Teacher keeps time for preparation (15/20/30 seconds depending on task), 5) Student begins recording and tracks time as shown on Audacity. (Time limit: 45/60 sec), 6) Student saves the data as mp3 file and email to himself/herself.

TRANSCRIBE Student listens to their recording and transcribes it word for word, including false starts, repetition, mistakes and hesitation/pause

EVALUATE 1) Student listens to their response and reads through the transcript, 2) Student evaluates with a checklist and 2 open-ended questions: “What did you do well? and “What would you like to improve on?”

CORRECT 1) Student edits their transcript for grammar, vocabulary and structural mistakes, 2) Student realizes the gap between actual production and knowledge of English

3. How is it graded?
4. What are the benefits?
5. Where can I get the prompts?

Part IV Assessing Writing

The Regular Way vs. AudioGrading

The strengths of AudioGrading:

How I do It... I have a standard intro:
“Hello, this is Roger, your teacher, and this is your AudioGrade assessment for your Cause and Effect
Essay. As I read your paper, I will make comments based on the things we talked about in class. we go....”

My ending goes something like this:
“, I if you have any questions, please come talk to me or email me. Ok. Take care and I will see you in

You decide what to say and how to say it. Use your great personalities, and your creativity.
I usually speak for 3-5 minutes for a 2-4 page paper.

How is it done from beginning to end? 1) Get an email list of all your students, 2) Find out if you have any students that want to have a CD copy rather than an email, 3) Make sure your students know how to listen to an audio file on their computers, 4) Find a quiet room, 5) Launch the Audacity application, 6) Grab a highlighter and start recording, 7) Save the file and go on to the next one, 8) Send the students an email with the audio file as an attachment, Or burn CDs for those students that have requested them

Part VI References

1. Audacity Software-This is the dream application, the computer’s ‘tape recorder’
and it’s free. There are separate downloads whether you use a Mac or a PC.
You can find it here at this link:

3. English and Certificates for Internationals-Programs we teach in.
General Intensive ESL courses:
TEFL Certificate Programs:

4. Presenters Contact Info-E-mail us if you have any questions and/or comments.
Jee-Eun Oh
Roger Dupuy

5. Handout available online via Teacher Training Blog:

6. TOEFL: TOEFL materials adapted from Helping Your Students Communicate with Confidence, 2005. Used by permission of ETS, the copyright owner. However, the test questions and any other testing information are provided in their entirety by TESOL. No endorsement of this publication by ETS should be inferred.

7. iBT Speaking practice tasks – Additional iBT speaking tasks created by UCI instructors. Other handouts for speaking practice available.