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Developing oral language


in primary school classes

The facts

The customer
Aurélia Onyszko, Florange, France
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The solution
VoiceTracer audio recorder
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VoiceTracer Speech Recognition Software
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VoiceTracer audio recorder
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Aurélia Onyszko is a co-author, along with Anne Larcher, Evie Laversanne, Adeline Michel and Séverine Walker, of the book entitled ‘Enseigner en Classe Flexible’ (Teaching in a Flexible classroom), published by Éditions Retz. She is also the owner of the ‘Maitresse Aurel‘ blog, via which she shares her thoughts, ideas, knowledge, and creations so that they can be useful to other education professionals.

Favouring inclusion in schools

Aurélia Onyszko has been teaching in a French P1 classroom for the past three years. She has occupied a wide range of different positions in the past, from the Special General and Vocational Education Section, to a multi-level classroom, and even headmistress. Ultimately, she has chosen to stay with P1 because it is a level which fascinates her and represents a crucial phase in a child’s schooling and development. She works in a school where certain pupils have just arrived in France and for whom French is not their native language (also referred to as an allophone). Along with the 25 students that comprise her class, she also welcomes children from her school’s ‘Localized Units for School Inclusion’ program for reading and writing lessons.

Working in a flexible classroom

Aurélia also works in a flexible classroom, which means working with half of the class on a particular subject, while the other students are left to work independently. For the latter, reading out loud is one of the possible activities. The students can freely go to the ‘library’ area to record themselves, each child therefore working on recordings at his or her own pace, a notion that is not always simple to implement in a class of 25 or more. Each pupil has the opportunity and the necessary time to practice reading out loud thanks to voice recording. With voice recorders, Aurélia can also take the time to listen to the recordings in the evening and comment on their work if necessary.

Very practical and simple to use, Philips voice recorders have become a day-to-day resource in my classroom. I couldn’t do what I do without them.

Aurélia Onyszko
School teacher, Florange, France

A beneficial tool, quickly adopted by students

The first time Aurélia brought the voice recorders to her classroom, her students were surprised by this tool devoid of a touchscreen. However, they quickly, and very naturally, became accustomed to its use! Today, three Philips audio recorders are available to all students in the class. The devices are very simple to use: the children simply need to press the record button and a red light indicates when they can start to speak. These recorders allow the students to easily be listened to and heard by their teacher. "I believe the audio recorder to be a valuable learning tool in the classroom. For example, it could provide tracking of the child’s progress in nursery classes, where oral language is one of the principal fields of learning. That would be a fantastic solution! We could easily record each child from the very start of his or her schooling, at different times during the year or the curriculum, to keep track and to compile a record which could potentially be provided to families, on a USB key for example, at the end of their nursery schooling."

Helping each student move from speaking to writing

Aurélia Onyszko strives to implement suitable teaching methods within her students considerably varying levels: "Along with my colleagues, we try to reason outside of the standard classroom model and reflect on what practices are best suited to satisfy the needs of the pupils we welcome to our school." The provision of Philips audio recorders in the classroom was quick to transpire as a precious tool for allophonic pupils facing language difficulties and for individualized activities. "I use voice recorders in many fields of teaching and for a vast range of very different activities. Its pertinence is all the more evident for oral language, for it can be used very simply to record allophonic pupils and to work on their pronunciation. They can immediately listen to their own voices and correct their diction, hence improving their language skills. I also use the recorders to produce written material. Some pupils are perfectly capable of telling a story, but have difficulty in putting it in writing, a step that requires a great deal of effort and different skills. The recorder enables them to record their stories, hence keeping track of what they are capable of producing in terms of creative writing. By adding this recording phase when a child produces a story, I can validate his or her capacity to form a sentence, in particular among pupils who do not yet speak fluent French." 

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