I was listening to National Public Radio today and heard a report on a BBC project called Save Our Sounds. It’s an effort to permanently save unusual sounds. You can see a pretty neat world map and easily listen to the sounds and read their descriptions.
I was thinking of suggesting that some of my students might want to consider recording, or bringing their family members in to record, music from some of their traditional instruments (like the Hmong flute). Students could then write a description to go along with it. A web tool like Vocaroo (which is on The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English list) could be used to record it. All you have to do is click “download this message” and send it to the BBC using the form on the site.
In many ways it’s similar to Woices, which allows the user to easily leave an audio message about a specific place. That message can then be listened to by others. Students could leave messages about where they live now, places they’ve visited, or their native countries.
There are some differences between the two (though Woices is on the “authentic audience” list, too). The BBC is interested in particularly unique sounds, and you have to email them the recording. Woices, as I’ve mentioned, is interested in just about anything, and you can record directly onto the site using their application.