Saturday, March 7, 2015

Voice Recorder Pro

The way our current tests are set up, students step into the hallway with me to have a quick conversation for their speaking test.  It is usually between 5-8 points, and it involves the student answering a few questions I ask them in complete sentences.  While I greatly value the one-on-one conference with each of my students, the obvious downside to such an exercise involves time.  28 students X 2 minutes each X 3 classes = lots of time spent not "teaching."  I am constantly trying to come up with activities the rest of the students can be doing that are truly worth their time while I am not instructing/monitoring.  Plus, the conversation I am having with one student generally feels rushed and pressured as I am always with one ear turned towards my classroom.

I am convinced there has to be a technological advancement out there that will make this process more efficient.  This year I began experimenting with Voice Recorder Pro.  It is a free app that allows students to record their voice, play it back, alter the speed of recordings and export these files to various locations.  It has truly streamlined our speaking tests!


  1. Each student can take the speaking test at the same time, instead of waiting 2 days to speak with me.
  2. Students can listen to their own answers and learn from their mistakes and my comments instead of trying to remember what they said or how they said it by memory.
  3. The anxiety related to conversation being "put on the spot" is greatly reduced when you can think first and re-record later if necessary.
  1. Instructions took quite a bit of time the first time we used the app together.  There are many options and many different features for the students to sift through.
  2. The best option we could think of for me to hear each recording was for the students to export the file to DropBox.  But, each time, it uploaded the MP3 file along with a text coding file.  Our DropBox account had to be cleared out regularly.
  3. Each file has 2 names you can edit.  One just changes the name inside the app, but the other will change it when you export it, too.  Trial and error!
I will continue to use this app as often as is feasible while we aren't yet 1-to-1.  I anticipate it being even more helpful when students have a device in class each day.  


  1. Thank you for your post. How do you conduct the oral assessments so that the students complete them at the same time? I look forward to your reply.

    1. Sorry it has taken me so long to get back with you! Thanks for your question. Most of the time, they complete oral assessments one or two at a time with me. However, with Voice Recorder Pro, if each student has a device you can record your prompt and have them listen and respond simultaneously. Then, I have students upload their final response to DropBox so I can grade it.


¡Gracias por venir! Please leave me a message with any helpful resources or practices that you have found to be successful.