There are a number of excellent sites that English Language Learners can use to practice their English, and you can find many of them at The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English.
Most of them, however, require using a microphone, which is fine for when we’re in the computer lab at school, and fine for the minority of my students who have Internet access at home, but not very helpful for those without that kind of access. That makes using the computer for speaking homework not really an option.
There are other apps, like Google Voice, that allow people to record audio by phone, but require some work by the teacher to post the audio on the web (admittedly, not much work, but I’m always looking for ways to reduce my workload, not increase it )
So I decided to create another “The Best…” list, and this time focus on free applications that would allow students to use a phone to record audio directly to the web — without me having to be an intermediary. I was looking for sites that would allow me to just listen and leave comments, but not require me to actually post it. It would serve as an “audio journal” for students.
Here are my choices for The Best Sites For Students To Record Audio By Phone:
(Several that I had listed when I originally posted have gone out of business)
Both Alice Mercer and ELL Classroom have written about Dropio, though it appears to me that it doesn’t quite have the journal-life function that I’m looking for.(UPDATE: Drop.io has been purchased by Facebook and is phasing out its service)
Listen Voice appears to be sort of an audio blog that can be recorded by phone. It’s free if you limit each call to five minutes or less. However, the number is in Boston, so the calls are long-distance. They do have an option, though, of you leaving your number and then they will call you. I haven’t tried it yet, so don’t know how well that works.
I talk about a new, simple and great way to use a smartphone to record students at This Seems Like A Pretty Easy Way To Practice Speaking…..
Please let me know if you have other suggestions.