I’ve used music a lot with English Language Learners. Singing feels much less threatening to many who are learning a new language.
Karaoke is a good language-development activity, and there are quite a few karaoke sites on the Internet. I thought it would be a good topic for a short “The Best…” list.
In order to make it on this list, a site has to be available free-of-charge (or at least some of its resources have to be free), easy-to-use, require no download, and allow students — either alone or in a group — to record themselves singing. A link to their performance can then be posted on a student or teacher website.
There are only a few sites that meet that criteria. Here are my choices for The Best Online Karaoke Sites For English Language Learners:
The Karaoke Channel Online has an extraordinary collection of songs available…for a price. However, if you choose the free option you have access to two hundred songs, though none of them are particularly up-to-date. But it’s a very easy process to record and save.
SMS Tunes is another similar site.
Sing Snap is the newest addition to this list. It has all the best qualities of the other sites here — easy to use, free-of-charge, and, if you don’t want to record, you can just listen to others sing while the screen shows the lyrics. Using a webcam is an option, but unlike many Web 2.0 sites, you can still use it if you just have a computer microphone.
Karaoke Party is the newest free online karaoke site. Though I haven’t spent a lot of time checking it out, it seems very comparable to the others on this list.
You still need to get an invitation to use Songboard, but it seems to have a pretty clean interface to show music videos with highlighted words as they are sung. It doesn’t have a way to record your singing, and you have to sign in using Facebook (though you can get access to a number of them without signing-in), but it still might be worth checking-out.
I’d certainly be interested in hearing suggestions, so please feel free to leave them in the comments section.