(Reviewed Winter 2012)
Reviewer: Chan Geng
Recommendation: Recommended with Reservation
LiPSonline is a website which shares ideas and resources with teachers who teach listening, speaking, and pronunciation to non-native English speakers, especially online. It has many useful links for teachers and students, and most of the resources are related to online teaching, such as talking groups online, recording for speaking, and pronunciation club. There are three categories right now that separate links by their functions: as listening, pronunciation information and exercises, and online audio recording and listening.
The main purpose of LiPSonline is to improve students' speaking and listening skills through online education. The advantage is that students and teachers can use the resources anytime and anywhere, but the disadvantage is that teachers and students have to use computers with microphones to practice or participate in group discussion.
LiPSonline is easy to use and follow because the three categories on the web site separate links by their functions and each part is very brief and concise. The only drawback is that no instruction explains how to use the recommended links mentioned on the webpage. Also, it is not clear how often the webpage gets updated, per month, per year, or randomly. If you don’t want to add too many links to your favorite folder, you can save this one for teaching listening and pronunciation online. Or it may be a good example for teachers, while we can have space for our own teaching experiences. For the links which are recommended on the webpage here, I would like to explain one of them: http://www.voxopop.com/
“It is used by educators all over the world, and Voxopop talkgroups are a fun, engaging and easy-to-use way to help students develop their speaking skills. They're a bit like message boards, but use voice rather than text and a have a specialized user interface. No longer confined to a physical classroom, teachers and students of oral skills can interact from home, or even from opposite sides of the planet!”
If there is a time or distance gap between you and your students, or students’ schedules are flexible, this talking group is very good. It is also good for American Language Program (ALP) students. The ALP office could use this talking group to improve students’ life skills before their arrival in the U. S. It is a good way to prepare for life abroad and save money and time for students.
Subject Heading: teaching materials, oral skills