Posts Tagged ‘pairing’

Protected: Are oral exams failing since language students have not been given write access to the Sanako share?

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Mimicking the annual “All-Japan Phone-Answering Competition” in the digital audio lab?

One of my first endeavors in a digital audio lab was pairing distant students over the headphones to have them practice doing business over the phone in Spanish. Today’s New York Times article on the annual “All-Japan Phone-Answering Competition” made me wonder whether a digital audio lab could not mimic this also (especially since the digital audio lab is quite conducive to “drilling in” rules and – as the competition does, too – focusing on intonation and articulation).

“Formal phone answering is serious business in Japan, with many rules intended to head off offensive or awkward moments. A search on Amazon’s Japanese website found more than 60 books specifically on phone manners, and dozens more on business etiquette in general. Most appeared to be aimed at women, like “How to Talk Like a Workplace Beauty.”
A polite office worker picks up calls during the first or second rings; if, for unavoidable reasons, the caller is left waiting for three rings or more, an apology is in order. The conversation itself is carried out in a formal, honorific spoken form of language — peppered with exclamations like “I’m horrified to ask this request, but …” At the end of the call, the receptionist must listen for the caller to hang up before putting down the receiver. Hanging up first is a serious faux pas. (…)

Each contestant runs through a three-minute conversation. Judges scrutinize the conversations for impeccable Japanese phone etiquette: good tone, volume, speed, pronunciation, articulation and use of words. A strong contestant takes appropriate pauses between phrases, and stays friendly, but not overly friendly. Throughout, proper exclamations to signal attention and empathy must be used.”

The latter scrutinization could possibly be conducted as a peer evaluation.

The Times article seems highly critical of the traditional, clerical role of women who still dominate  these competitions. However, in the reader commentaries, there is an interesting backlash from people who have experienced, enjoyed and brought back Japanese culture to this country.

So the lesson plan sounds like it could quite easily transcend the above digital audio lab utilization into  the intercultural realm and lead to interesting comparisons and discussions.

Sanako recording during pairing won’t work

  1. Now: Records one party only – bad if you have to find this out only after an exam… You can see this in the graph here – low audio is partner speaking, and not audible: image and hear it yourself on campus here: "S:\coas\lcs\lrc\sanako\student\8-7-2013_2-35-18_PM ELTI level 2 final pair\Group A5 (falothma, maldubai)_sent.MP3"
  2. Then (example of how it is supposed to sound): "S:\COAS\LCS\LRC\sanako\student\2013-02-27 14_13-pair-no-names\Group B4 (LXCOED434-PC36, LXCOED434-PC17)_sent.MP3": image
  3. workaround: Instead of being able to default to mp3 format, as we used to, the teacher now has to save the audio of pairing activites in a Sanako proprietary format (MIFF) and, including the students, play it back with the Sanako prpoprietary player. If the teacher does not remember to change the format from the default MP3 to MIFF for pairing exercise recordings, the teacher (and students) will lose the assessment materials of half the class (and likely not find this out until when the files get opened for grading).

Some concrete examples on how to use the Sanako Study 1200 Playlist and Pairing in language teaching


From the Sanako-UK Fall 2012 Newsletter – click on the link or article for accessing the full newsletter (Hint: No need to wear suit&tie when using the LRC Sanako; headsets, however, tend to be a required accessorySmile).

You can learn more here on how to use Playlist and Pairing. Or visit our Fall 2012 Faculty Workshop I: Intermediate Sanako Teaching Techniques and the following Fall 2012 Faculty Workshop II: Clinic on creating teaching materials for use with the Sanako

How teachers randomly pair and record students over their headphones with Sanako Study 1200–the ultimate training summary…

…thanks to animated gGIFs. Slower? 050ms, 075ms, 100ms, 200ms, 300ms, 400ms,500ms, 600ms, 700ms, 800ms,900ms, 1000ms. Load the speed of your choosing into the left screen of the teacher station before trying to pair your students, with the window active, press F5 to restart the animation from the beginning at any time:

Study 1200 Pairing

2011/05/11 2 comments

In the Sanako Lab300, Group conference and Pairing were separate activities in the digital audio lab.

In the Sanako Study1200, pairing (and recording) students is an option under the discussion activity, as you can see here:



Sanako Lab 300: Pairing and some basics

In the spirit of ‘Better improvised instruction and information distribution than failing classes in the lab”, I recorded a 1-on-1 instruction on how to pair students, including some other basic Lab300 features into a 5-minute screencast with voice over  (open with Windows Media Player): sanako-lab300_pairing-and-basics.wmv

For an overview, see the following table of contents (when reviewing the video before starting your class in the Lab, search your webmail for the link to this instruction.)

  1. Not shown: teach students once and for all: always log in first;
  2. Grouping setup pane (all into L, then into A, excluding unused seats);
  3. Pair discussion setup pane (button: select for manual pair select mode);
  4. Not shown: teacher should use button: duo launch to facilitate student control of audio;
  5. Within group A pane , teacher uses button:transfer, changes program source to audio cassette:
    Pair discussion setup pane : “re-pair”, using button:cancel all, button:random to have Lab 300 software choose pairs;
  6. Within group A pane , teacher uses button:headphone for talking to group (not shown: remember to undo when finished!)
  7. From classroom layout: teachers clicks student icon to bring up student pane;
  8. From student pane, teacher views student screen, listens to student (or pair), uses student button:intercom for talking to student (or pair);
  9. From top menu: Other / thumbnail view of group: teacher brings up Mosaic window, to monitor (“police”) entire group screens; translates what you see to individual student, and uses button:lock (keyboard, screen or both) to prevent students from not staying on task [Demo this in first lab class to your students, using the screen projector , and hopefully they will hopefully stay on task];
  10. From menu: Other/ thumbnail view of group, teacher brings up Mosaic window and double clicks student screen to control individual student computer (e.g. to close a web browser – another way to police, less effective, but possible; better used for collaboration) . [Better policing options can be set up in the using the Lab300 web browser).