Many of us agree that native speaker is best model for the sake of language exposure, including in listening activities. Since its development, internet provides more chances for teachers to search for listening materials to be used in real classroom context. VOA, BBC, Youtube and other websites make available audio and video materials for teachers to download. Some audio and video formats from the downloaded files like wave, mp3, mp4, mpg, mpeg, avi, flv, and swf seem to be familiar and easy to play in local and personal computers.
However, most use of those downloaded materials do not seemingly fit the learning syllabus that in many conditions teachers have to modify by selecting and cutting away the waste from their audio and video files. When big parts of such file are not appropriate to any further extent and inappropriate with the learning syllabus, consequently, teachers’ own record fill this requirement.
In her study, Isye (2004) finds that teacher’s talk (teacher’s own record) – in Indonesian learner atmosphere – is received as preference for many students to have for their listening materials. It is because students feel comfortable with teachers’ local dialect, accent and style compared to native speakers. Although teacher could be taken as language model and exposure as well, the presence of real model of language use from the native is still necessary. Instead, providing native speakers for the sake of language model and exposure does not seem cheap in term of cost and its effectiveness. Particularly, when those native speakers are merely intended for model of language speaker or just make available of listening activity.
Recently, I have been working with multimedia design and application. While completing my web project, I find some software that would solve problems in providing comprehensive listening materials. What I mean by comprehensive listening materials here is that we are able to create listening materials using native real voice suitable with the curriculum and syllabus as well, without necessarily have them record. In addition, beside selecting and cutting the unnecessary part, we’re able to gather some listening materials we’ve already downloaded from the internet with our native voice file.
The procedure is likely below:
1. We download files from internet sources
2. For particular videos, we might need to convert them into sound files
3. Those sound files the are edited, to trash away some unnecessary parts
4. We design our own listening scripts, either for learning materials or evaluation (test)
5. We convert the listening scripts into native-voice sound file
6. We combine what we’ve already downloaded from internet and our own native-sound file, with some simple editing process of course
7. We package it into our original listening materials
I have already made some materials particularly the TRY OUT listening activity which was used by MKKS and Sudin Dikmen of North Jakarta. I enclose the sample fie in attachment of this email.
If you’re interested in holding workshop with the above I have already described, I am pleased to hear further from you.