I remember sitting in my high school French class and really wanting to speak, but also equally not wanting to make a fool of myself. It would have been great to use a free tool to record myself speaking a script I wrote in French (in the privacy of my Leonardo DiCaprio-covered bedroom) and then send it online to Monsieur Lanciaux for review. But at the time, Al Gore had only just invented the Internet and that kind of technology wasn’t available.
Fast-forward to today, where we now have the power of myBrainshark.
Recently, Nicolás Pino James, Spanish language professor and PhD researcher at the University of Warwick in the U.K., conducted a study on the use of myBrainshark to improve language learning, and in particular, speaking development. The study followed 16 post-beginner university-level Spanish learners and their use of myBrainshark to increase language proficiency.
The full article, Exploring the Benefits of ACMC for Speaking Development, was published in The International Association for Language Learning Technology (IALLT) Journal.
The paper explains in detail how myBrainshark enabled students to take charge of their own learning. They could plan what they wanted to say in advance by writing a script, then read the script out loud, record it, and play back the recording. It also allowed them to practice pronunciation and rerecord if necessary, then send the recording to their professor for review and improvement tips.
The results of the study found myBrainshark influenced speaking development by:
Promoting speaking skills, pronunciation and fluency
Helping students organize ideas and use various resources (such as dictionaries and text books)
Providing a way to combine writing, reading out loud, pronunciation, and self-evaluation
Compensating for the lack of speaking practice in the classroom
The research also noted that certain characteristics of myBrainshark are especially beneficial for speaking development, such as simplicity, user-friendliness, effectiveness, and innovation.
Finally the study concluded that technology, specifically myBrainshark, should be used in foreign language classrooms as a complement to traditional methods of teaching due to its proven ability to improve speaking development. To that I say, c'est formidable!