Tuesday, June 3, 2008

listen up

The theory of multiple intelligences tells us that we learn from all of our senses, not just those that rely on reading. The theory holds that some of us may learn better with different creative approaches, such as utilizing music or art or movement. Intuitively, we know this, but we tend to favor lessons that rely on reading and verbal instruction. Whether we subscribe to the multiple intelligences learning theory or not, there is no denying that we all learn through repetition. As an English instructor, reading and writing still top my list of teaching modalities, however, I strongly advocate listening to stories, poems, and plays in addition to reading.

The internet provides various options for listening to text, but here are a few of my favorites. Yesterday, Open Culture posted links to a wonderful reading of 1984. Listen to the introduction; it's read very professionally. You can play the podcast from your computer over speakers for the entire class as they read along, or, provide links from your website so your students can download the readings to their ipods. Great homework assignment. Open Culture has a long list of excellent audiobooks, freely available for listening or download, which will enhance your classroom lessons.

You'll find another extensive library of audiobooks at LibriVox, which provides works from the public domain. These are available as mp3 podcasts, and are read by volunteers. Here's an example of the opening to Pride and Prejudice.

There is an entire site, ShakespeareCast.com, devoted to podcasts of Shakespeare's plays and sonnets. This recording of Romeo and Juliet is student-read.

Add a welcome dimension to the readings you do in your classroom: listen.

1 comment:

Paolo Amoroso said...

If you have book texts in machine-readable format, you can make your own audiobooks with simple speech synthesis tools such as vozMe, which also provides links to the resulting audio files.