Photo of 9th Grade Chinese Language Lesson from James Rolle

9th Grade Chinese Language Lesson from James Rolle

By James Rolle




VoiceThread provides a medium for this character-by-character explanation of a commonly used phrase in Chinese that students can listen to and learn on their own time.


Since this lesson is one-sided - i.e. there is no input from students - this was a fairly straightforward VoiceThread to create. I took the phrase, chose a Chinese-themed background image, then created a screen for each term and narrated each screen.


Again, very straightforward. The goal was simply to have the students go back and on their own time, listen to the Voicethread and learn the phrase.


The most difficult part of the project was deciding whether or not to use English for the lesson. In teaching a foreign language, you want to use as little English as possible, but since this was a fairly sophisticated phrase for my students, and the sole purpose was for them to learn the phrase, I decided to make the explanations in English.


I put the screens together - text on image - using Powerpoint.


Browse around and see what others have done. VT is a fantastic tool for language learning, especially in Adult Ed/Non-Credit program because it focuses more on oral skills rather than writing, which is perfect for non-academic track students. It’s also a great assessment tool for oral feedback and assessment. Before VT I never had enough time in class to do oral tests with my students because there just wasn’t enough time in class to test everyone. Now there is! And I can listen to their speech at home!


Depending on the goal, you may want to have an additional screen for students to practice saying the phrase. Another possibility for this type of VoiceThread is to stick to the target language.