Using VoiceThread for extended independent practice in giving short academic presentations

Chang, Heejin ORCID: and Windeatt, Scott (2021) Using VoiceThread for extended independent practice in giving short academic presentations. Computer Assisted Language Learning. -30. ISSN 0958-8221


This study investigates the potential of VoiceThread (VT) as a learning tool in order to enhance learners’ performance and confidence, and to provide the basis for continuing independent practice. The participants were students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds on a 10-week English for Academic Purposes (EAP) programme in academic speaking and listening skills in an Australian university. Students carried out a weekly extended speaking task in the form of an academic presentation, on a theme/topic related to their own interests. To prepare for this they used VT to record and rehearse their presentation, uploading their recordings to the Learning Management System for other students to listen to, and for the teacher to provide individual feedback. The recordings were analysed in relation to a number of features to measure utterance fluency, including speed, repairs and pauses. Questionnaires were used to investigate students’ perceptions of the value of the task, of their performance on the task, and of changes in their performance and confidence over time. Interviews were used to investigate the potential of recording and rehearsal for long term independent practice. The study involved a total of 34 students in 10 week courses, 22 students using the Voicethread software, and 12 students in a comparison class following the same curriculum, but without the Voicethread software. The results suggest that, over time, regular VT tasks help students develop their performance and confidence in spoken English. Such voice-recording activities have the potential to improve oral performance by encouraging independent practice of oral activities, and so tackling the limitations on time, practice and feedback inherent in classroom-based courses.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - USQ College (8 Jun 2020 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - USQ College (8 Jun 2020 -)
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2022 02:10
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2022 04:06
Uncontrolled Keywords: academic presentation; fluency; independence; Speaking; voice recording
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130207 LOTE, ESL and TESOL Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. Maori)
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2003 Language Studies > 200303 English as a Second Language
10 Technology > 1005 Communications Technologies > 100599 Communications Technologies not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4703 Language studies > 470306 English as a second language
47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4701 Communication and media studies > 470102 Communication technology and digital media studies
39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390108 LOTE, ESL and TESOL curriculum and pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1603 Teaching and curriculum > 160399 Teaching and curriculum not elsewhere classified
16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1603 Teaching and curriculum > 160301 Assessment, development and evaluation of curriculum
13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1302 Communication > 130201 Communication across languages and culture
16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1603 Teaching and curriculum > 160302 Pedagogy
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