Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Using Digital Voice Recorders in Language Classes

William Edward McCartan.

The availability of inexpensive magnetic tape recorders provided language instructors throughout the world with a valuable tool for listening comprehension and oral production. Replaying a students speech sample several times enabled diagnosticians to delve deeper into the linguistic elements influencing a students pronunciation, and diagnostic analysis of periodic recordings of a student revealed degree of progress over time. As a result every second language teacher has drawers, shelves, or boxes containing stacks of tape cassettes.
Another technological advancement, digital voice recorders, has added to the usefulness of stored speech. The initial cost of digital voice recorders is slightly higher than tape recorders, but since they do not require tapes, they are much cheaper in the long run. Of course digital recorders are lighter, more compact, and have no moving parts. Samples of digitized student speech can be saved in folders on computers. Files can be attached to e-mail and web pages. Digitally recorded speech can easily be edited and placed in presentations and research reports. Select samples can be use to illustrate a point for language students or teachers in training.
The presenter has used dvr’s and video recordings extensively in pronunciation classes, especially with English as a second language students working on word stress and sentence stress. The presentation will include how to make digital voice and video recordings, editing files, placement of files on web sites, and attachment to e-mails. Actual student samples of accent inventories, classroom strategies, and homework assignments.


William Edward McCartan  (United States)
Chair, Educational Studies
The College of Education
Seton Hall University

Prior to being elected Chair of Educational Studies Dr. McCartan was Directory of Secondary Education and Director of the English as a Second Language Program. His current second language acquisition research interest is in phonology, especially word stress and sentence stress. As a teacher trainer, he is involved in multicultural teaching strategies, instructional technology, and supervision of teachers.

  • Computer assisted language learning
  • Digital voice recorders
  • ESL pronunciation

(30min Paper Presentation, English)