I don’t know for sure if all the tech advances we’ve seen over the last few years (or even the last few months!) will help us make our students better language learners, but I am sure that the ability to access classroom listening material out-of-class has to be a move in the right direction. Doesn’t matter if students are listening on line in the school’s media center, on their PC at home, or to the files on their iPod — any listening that’s done outside of class means more time can be spent in class exploring other learning opportunities.

That’s not to say that helping students improve their listening skills in class is a waste of time. It’s a terrific idea to check their answers to their listening homework and then spend a couple of minutes helping those who missed a few understand why they got the wrong answer.

15+ years ago, we could play the cassette back, maybe slow it down. 10 years ago, we could accompany that with an overhead camera shot of the tapescript from the teacher’s manual. But now we can do them both one better. With a scrolling script of the dialog, their terrific teacher can give students both the visual and audio support they need from to understand why they got it wrong.

Take a look at these two example videos. Do you think the fonts and styles and size are adequate enough for classroom display? Is the black background too much of a downer?

Real Conversations — NTWY1, Unit 1
Real Conversations — NTWY2, Unit 2

If teachers have these scrolling scripts to show when they need them, will you use them? If so, should we do the same for all the scripts in the teacher’s manual? Was there anything you especially liked about the form of these, or anything that irked you? Any comment you leave below would help me out a lot!

Audio and scripts (c) Cambridge University Press

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