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15/04/2022 - 19:15
Meet FLOWCHASE, one of the major sponsors of BELTA Day 2022.
by Lucie Fuca
Pronunciation can be tricky to teach your ESL students, as well as it is challenging for them to practice: they simply don’t dare to speak in front of others.
At Flowchase, we wondered how we could help teachers personalize the way they teach pronunciation, so that students can speak confidently.
So we created a hybrid tool that can be used at home by students, and in class by teachers!
Sounds great, right? But we want to go further. Participating in conferences like BELTA Day is the perfect way to share ideas and discover new pedagogies – it is indeed our second participation. Apart from meeting other people facing the same issues (don’t get us wrong, we love meeting people as passionate as we are!), we really want to overcome the pronunciation challenge.
Speaking skills remain indeed one of the most difficult to teach and evaluate. Researchers have offered a number of recommendations, (e.g., repetitions exercises, annotated vocabulary lists, shadowing …), and technology has become widely recognized in the past few years as a way to enhance teaching.
However, many students still struggle to express themselves in English, even after years learning the language. And with good reason: pronunciation usually represents less than 5% of class time (Foote et al., 2012). It is tricky to teach within a few hours of lectures, especially when facing a large group of students with completely different proficiency levels (Derwing & Munro, 2015).
Zoé Broisson will explain during BELTA Day 2022 how digital tools, and more specifically Flowchase, can be used to teach pronunciation following a flipped classroom approach (Bergmann & Sams, 2012 ; Lecoq & Lebrun, 2016).
Flowchase has been mentioned all along, but without clarifying what it is! My bad.
So, Flowchase is a research-based tool created by linguists, educational experts and English teachers. Research was conducted based on the Intelligibility Principle, a branch of linguistics that identifies all the aspects of pronunciation English speakers need to master to be clearly understood. (Munro & Derwing, 2005).
Following a flipped classroom approach or used as a self-learning tool, Flowchase helps English teachers make their class time more engaging and interactive. With our mobile app and textbook, they can boost their students’ speaking skills using voice technology that gives instant feedback. (Saito & Lyster, 2012 ; Arroyo & Yilmaz, 2018)
That said, you should know that Flowchase can be easily integrated into the teachers’ classes as they can choose the program and the units they want to teach and to practice with their students, as well as the way they want to use it.
Indeed, our hybrid tool can be used following the flipped classroom approach – as mentioned above – like the teachers from Paris-East Créteil, Saint Louis University, CY Cergy Paris University and UCLouvain did. Very practically: students use Flowchase at home in their safe space to gain confidence and receive instant and personalized feedback to improve; once in class they can put what they have learned into practice with our textbook and the fun group class activities.
Not only Flowchase can be totally integrated in class, but it can also be used autonomously by students, like at the University of Corsica where students use it as a self-learning tool. It’s up to you!
If you want to know more about how Flowchase is used in various universities, feel free to check the short version of our webinar in which we present different case studies of teachers explaining how they boost their students' pronunciation skills in a fun way: https://youtu.be/r7EnJ7FcaSY
By now, you probably know that Flowchase is a powerful tool for improving your students' speaking skills, and especially their pronunciation.
You should attend Zoé’s presentation at 13.35 in room 3.12 to find out more about the pedagogy and technologies that can help you teach speaking skills easily!
Last but not least, we would be more than happy to have a chat with you during BELTA Day 2022 in the exhibition hall (spoiler alert: other than us, you might find sweets too!)
Having a background in translation and interpreting, Lucie taught English, Italian, and French in Belgium for 3 years. Since she used to find pronunciation is the most challenging feature to handle in class, today she helps hundreds of English teachers to innovate using Flowchase.