Submission with audio or video file

Subject: Spanish. Course: Language proficiency and analysis. Study level: Master's. Class size: approx. 8-10 students.

Motivation for the activity

The activity provides extra time for the individual student to develop both speaking- and listening skills, as it takes place outside of the lesson. The activity allows all students to have the same amount of speaking time.

Central learning outcomes for the course

The objective of the discipline is for the students to acquire skills in writing and speaking a correct, fluent, suitably varied and appropriate Spanish in relation to complex, academic topics; as well as to reflect on and analyse his/her own and others' language production. These skills are acquired through work on language proficiency with the involvement of relevant theoretical subjects.

Central learning outcomes for the activity

The goal of the activity is to increase the students’ oral language proficiency in Spanish and provide the students with an opportunity to work with their creativity.

The activity can be carried out flexibly so that the students who do not want to make a public submission to be seen and heard by their fellow students can choose to submit it to the lecturer alone.

Description of the activity

I give the students a topic which they are to make a video or a sound recording on at home. This may be max. 10 minutes. The recording is submitted either to me or to the entire class via First Class (the conference is closed to all others who are not part of the class).

It varies as to whether this is an individual assignment or group work. The topics are always either relevant for the theoretical content in the lessons, e.g. a summary of a text, or actual current affairs topics. We have worked, for example, with the appointment of the Argentinian Pope and with the Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's death.

The students are free to choose the technological resources they wish to use. Some use their mobile phone, others have chosen to use Vocaroo, others have used mailVU (which unfortunately is not free any longer).

I provide feedback via audio file so that the students receive listening material to work with.

An example of an assignment text

Here is one of the assignment text that was used a few days after the new Pope was named:

Preparar un material audiovisual (en grupo o individual) con el título "Un papa latinoamericano". Ustedes eligen el formato: programa especial de CNN, entrevista, debate, noticia en telediario, etc.

Here I received several outstanding documentaries with details of the new Pope’s biography, as well as debate programmes where there was discussion of what this Pope will mean for Latin America.

Outcome of the activity

The effect has been positive. I have received many fun and creative video and audio recordings, which have been devised as e.g. news programmes and similar.

The students receive more speaking time and they expand their work with oral language proficiency outside of the lessons. Moreover, their listening and understanding skills are trained when they receive oral feedback from a lecturer who is a native speaker.


Reflections on the activity

It is important to be aware that some students can find this type of submission challenging because they are not used to recording or filming themselves. It is therefore a good idea to let them choose whether they will show the recording to the entire class or only to the lecturer. It may also help to work in groups rather than individually. The students quickly get accustomed to the working methods and my students have provided positive evaluations.

I have only used the activity with very mature and experienced Master's degree students. I am not sure that it would work quite as well with a new and large Bachelor class.

It is important to be aware that some good tools on the Internet start off as free editions, but that you end up having to pay to use them. That was the problem with "mailVU", which is otherwise a very fine tool.

Applied resources

  • Vocaroo. An easy-to-use resource for recording audio files.
  • mailVU. A good resource for easily making a video and sending it directly by email.