Story CDs

Jim wrote in a comment:
One of my adult students explained that she was feeling [great confidence] after listening repeatedly to a CD I made of all our class stories. Here’s what she said to me about it:
“The stories are so familiar, so I wasn’t sure I needed the CD or that it would be helpful. But, being so familiar and hearing it repeatedly, I feel like I am thinking in Spanish instead of translating back and forth. That’s a big step.”
Then Bryce wrote:
The CD idea is great. Recording our own stories on CD for our students is a fantastic next step. Es obvio! For the last 3 years I have had the students in my community college classes listen to Blaine’s books on CD and their comprehension and fluency has soared, but I have not seen this step yet. I am going to do something like this. The power of collaboration!
Muchisimas gracias, Jim!
I added:
Once your Story CD is recorded, all you have to do is make it available to your students. They just pass it around and one person makes a duplicate of it each night until all whoever want it has their own.
Or, if you want to go the fancy route, buy one of those duplicating machine towers. They are awesome and not that expensive. Or maybe your school has one.
I can think of no few amount of students in secondary schools, however, who wouldn’t be that interested in Story CDs and who would not appreciate the work we do in making them. So this is an idea for motivated students, certainly.
Any other ideas on how to make and distribute Story CDs?



9 thoughts on “Story CDs”

  1. I wondered if it might be a good idea to record the stories at slow speed and then normal speed as well. I remember listening to audio CDs awhile back that were made that way and it was very helpful. Maybe since these stories are familiar, the slow speed wouldn’t be necessary, though.

  2. If we are dealing with kids, I would say mp3’s because nobody uses cd’s anymore (I still have CD’s and listen to vinyl reords, but I know I’m weird). It’s really easy to record audio files on a free program like Audacity, save it as an MP3 and post it on a website for download. Many kids can do this directly from their phone/ipod, if not their computer.

  3. Awesome idea! I think I will start doing this. John, Audacity is a great idea, that’s exactly the program I was thinking about using to do this. I made a facebook page for my classes so if I start doing this, I’ll probably upload the mp3 somewhere and then post it to the facebook page.

  4. Drew,
    for this to work, you have to have motivated students that will do it on their own. I have had success with the audio thing with adult students, but I have not used it with recordings of my own stories with HS kids. The way our mandatory school system is set up, many students will not do do anything if they don’t get credit for it. Makes me wonder if Plato had it right:
    “Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.”
    —Plato, classical Greek philosopher (427 BC – 347 BC)

  5. I agree with Bryce that most young students, especially the students who need it the most, will not listen to audio outside of class unless there is some sort of incentive (homework, grade, etc.). You could create incentives, for example by making them funny, having students record them, or include a bonus word or phrase that they can find for extra credit. There is also the problem of accessibility: not all students have access to a computer with audio capabilities at home (this is where smart phones can be a positive thing, because many kids have one whereas their parents may not have a computer.)

  6. It might also be good for a sub plan? Or for a kid who was sick and missed a lot of class?
    I am going to ask two students who are native speakers of Spanish if they would like to record some of these as part of their community service commitment. It might be fun for them to do this, and it’s always good for kids to hear different voices and different accents. We have a kid from Spain here and also a kid from the Dominican Republic.

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