Week 4 Mentoring Goal

Essential Question:

What is the goal of my mentor project?


The goal of my mentor project is to help another teacher use technology to increase students speaking and listening skills. I have found many articles about different apps and their potential. I have also found some research on the topic but most of it is related to students that are at the middle school level or higher. One study talked about the use of radio programs in areas of little economic growth. The study showed growth in the students speaking ability but not a large growth in their listening. This may reinforce the fact that listening is a skill that needs to be taught. You cannot just give a student more language and expect that since there is more they will listen better.  I plan to combine some of my research so far one goal is to have teachers incorporate top-down and bottom-up comprehension (Richards 2008) activities in their lessons to help promote better listening skills and find a way to do that with technology or other classroom items. On method of teaching listening comprehension is the bottom-up method and activity they talked aobu t was creating a list of words after you read the title or main idea. They say to have students list words they think they may hear and list them. Then as they go they can be looking for them. The list of words can be done on an ipad or a whiteboard but something that the student can have in front of them. For many the whiteboard in front of the class is not personal enough and they don’t see it as theirs so they stop paying attention. For others it is too detached form what they are reading it isn’t the personalization of a lesson it is that they cannot hold the information and look up and search then they get distracted by other things. If it is on their desk or in front of them some students have a little larger window of focused learning time. I am not claiming it is huge but I have noticed a difference in my class

            Another part of my goal is to use technology effectively. One study used podcasts to increase the speaking and listening skills of students. This is certainly a project that would have to take place after school in my case. There is very little “wiggle” room in our curriculums at this point. The time it would take to teach the student show to create the podcasts and the amt of work they will have to do to prepare would be a huge chink out of our mandated curriculum and the pacing we are to follow. I know that many of the kids have phones with this capability so they can play on their own time which makes the idea of introducing it as extra credit seem plausible.  That is the direction the study went when they introduced it. The students were exposed to podcasts made by the instructors then they were given the opportunity to create one for extra credit. Ideally the technology I would like to use will fit within the classroom time. I did find a blog by a Mr. P in the UK and he has posted a Youtube video talking briefly about the technology he uses in his Language Arts class and how he uses them. There are a few that I am interested in.  Over all I have a lot of material to continue to sift through to help me but am getting excited to work with another teacher on this project.



(2013). Teaching Ideas: Speaking and Listening. Retrieved from




Parky, L. (2013). TeachTweet – Apps to promote quality Speaking and Listening in you classroom. Retrieved


from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRiP4cjY1u4


Richards, J. (2008).Teaching Speaking and Listening from Theory to Practice




Khameis, M. Using Creative Strategies to Promote Students’ Speaking Skills. Retrieved

from http://marifa.hct.ac.ae/files/2011/07/Using-Creative-Strategies-to-Promote-Students-Speaking-Skills.pdf

Cenin, F., McCullough, E. Reynolds, B. (2006). Podcasting and Its Effects on Speaking

and Listening Skills in the Foreign Language Classroom. Retrieved from http://www.etech.ohio.gov/sites/all/themes/etechohio/images/sites/all/themes/etechohio/documents/NOlmstedFinalReport.pdf

Center for Learning Resources. (2005) Action Research Project in Improving the English

 Language Communication Skills of Disadvantaged Rural and urban Students in Middle School of Pune District Through Interactive Radio Instruction 2000 – 2004. Retrieved from http://www.clrindia.net/downloads/clr_radio_project_report.pdf


3 thoughts on “Week 4 Mentoring Goal

  1. I read your post I thought of a few questions for you. Have you used Garage band to record students? My students who were struggling with fluency, or reading would use this and for some of them it seemed to help them understand what their difficulties were in oral reading. Also, a story could be recorded for them and they read along then they can record their own things as well.
    Have you thought about training a parent to do the podcasts and then she/he can help students do them so you don’t have to stop instructing the whole group? Or have you thought about training an older group of students (book buddies or something) to come and do that ? Finally, does your school have the handheld clickers that students can use to keep engaged with the interactive whiteboard? I have found that to be useful as well.

  2. This sounds like a really interesting project. What age group are you working with? Since I don’t teach it, I don’t really think much about listening comprehension, but it is as important as reading comprehension. I really like that you are going to work on this. What are some of the apps you are going to use?

    Podcasts are wonderful, but I agree with you that it would take a lot of time to teach the students how to use them. Good luck with your project and have fun.

  3. Amber


    Courtney, I can totally relate with you when you say that the whiteboard in front of the class is not personal enough. I found that too often students are not engaged with just ‘watching’ what’s going on-on the whiteboard. As a result I too began give students their own white board to interact with questions and with the discussion as a whole. It solved the engagement problem and ensured that all students were listening and paying attention. It definitely made a difference within my classroom as well.
    Is Hallie the teacher you happen to be mentoring? If not, she would be perfect to collaborate with, since she is doing her Action Research Project from the SEACCR class on how to use technology to increase students speaking and listening skills.
    After doing some research on this topic, take a look at the Prezi I found. It’s titled “Teaching/Learning speaking skills through effective techniques using technology!” at http://prezi.com/o5lb7p1flzry/teachinglearning-speaking-skills-through-effective-techniques-using-technology/ It gives some examples of tech tools, as well as non tech tools to increase speaking within the classroom. Let me know if it’s helpful!

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