StrugglING for improving speaking? MailVU is just for YOU!

1) What is the technology/ What does it do?

MailVU allows you to send video emails up to 10 minutes. You just need three steps to finish.
a) click
You need a webcam and a micophone and then click the 'allow' button to get the equipments standby.
b) record
Click the 'record' button to start. You can check your recording by click 'play'. If you are not satisfied with the previous recording, just click 'record' again to give a new try.
c) send
When finish recording, click the 'send' button. Type in your name, your email and your recipient's email address. That is! You even will be informed by email when the recipient see your recording.

2) Why is this particular tool or technology relevant to language learning? What approaches to language learning or research underpin the use of this technology?
Apprently, this tool is good for speaking activity for both learners and teachers. For learners, as long as you record your speech, you have opportunities to review it as many times as you like. You can jot down the weakness part and practice many times until you are satisfied. For teachers, they have a chance to review students' speaking output on individual basis. Therefore, students have the opportunities to receive personal feedbacks.
Genearlly speaking, this tool makes the production part of speaking possible. In detail, when a teacher follows Presentation- Practice- Production approach, it is common that there is little time left in the final stage, production. By using mailVU, teachers can put production after class which make PPP complete.

3) How might you use it to foster language learning in class/outside class?

This tool could be an alternative monitor to push students to practice speaking after class. The speaking activity could be a follow-up task based on the content and grammar points introduced in the class.

4) What limitations can you see with the use of this technology?

It is likely that students get bored to use it when they lose their curiosity of this new tool. The main reason could be that they are not invovled in an interactive context to practice speaking. In other words, it is mainly form-based learning.

Perhaps, if teachers give feedback also by this tool, there could build a fairly equal interaction context (a Video Community). Moreover, students can get the chance to practice listening as well from teachers video feedback. Or, if students like, they can send their recording to their peers and ask their fellows to give video feedback.

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