Audio-Lingua is a collaborative database of audio files recorded by native speakers in several different languages, including French. The audio files have been classified in order to enable listeners to search according to age and gender of speaker, topics addressed, level of difficulty, and length of recording.CEFR language levels are used to rate proficiency.
Type of Material:
Collaborative database of audio files.
Audio Lingua can be used to provide additional listening exercises in a traditional, hybrid and online classroom setting. Because the clips are classified according to difficulty level and subject, the instructor can easily search for recordings relevant to all levels of learner: from novice to advanced.
Speakers and a computer or other listening device.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The site Audio Lingua is designed exclusively to improve the listener's auditory comprehension. However, many of the recordings reveal interesting cultural facts about life in the francophone world, including Canada, France, and Martinique.
Target Student Population:
Although the site can be used by language learners of all ages, the majority of the audio clips have been recorded by adult speakers, and are thus of the greatest use to undergraduate students and adult language learners.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
In order to benefit from the A1 level recordings, the student must have completed the equivalent of one semester of college-level French.
Evaluation and Observation
The content and language of the learning material is superb. All audio clips have been recorded by native speakers. A variety of accents are represented, including recordings of speakers from Quebec, Paris, the French suburbs, and Martinique. The clips represent a variety of difficulty levels and address a wide range of topics. Students gain valuable cultural insight into the everyday life of French speakers from around the globe while improving their listening skills!
There are a limited number of clips at the advanced level for French.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Because students can search by topic, age and gender of speaker, as well as difficulty level, they should be able to find audio recordings which engage them.
Because the site is exclusively a database of audio recordings, instructors will need to create their own transcripts or cloze paragraphs, should they wish to provide scaffolding for their students.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site is aesthetically pleasing and very easy to navigate. The instructions are clearly written. In addition, students can subscribe to the Audio Lingua podcast, create a personal "favorites" list, and share clips over a variety of social networks directly from the site. Students can even submit their own recordings in their native language, should they wish to do so.
Some of the recordings are a bit difficult to hear, however these recordings have normally earned a low quality rating from prior listeners, and can therefore be easily avoided.
Other Issues and Comments:
Audio Lingua fills a huge void in language learning classrooms: the shortage of authentic audio clips available for listening practice. As native speakers continue to contribute material, the site's usefulness will only grow!