Of the four basic communication modes,
the most prevalent daily skill is "listening".
As English Language Learners expand their skills,
effective "listening" is a prerequisite to effective
speaking. If a learner cannot hear the sounds of English,
they will be unable to reproduce them.
Numerous classroom challenges exist related to listening,
Learners tend to focus on their instructor's
specific voice. They may soon be able to understand
the instructor, but cannot easily understand
Learners may be able to understand each other
(ESL-Speak), but not understand native speakers.
The learner lacks effective control over the
listening process. Often they hear any given
phrase a single time. At best upon request a
teacher may repeat phrases. (Contrast this with
student control over reading. Whether looking at
a text book or handouts, each individual learner
has the ability to read and re-read any
section numerous times.
Students often take notes to try to provide clues
to pronunciation. But if their primary language (L1)
does not include all the sounds used in English,
these notes may not be able to accurately reflect
Learners can extend their practice outside the classroom
with take-home class materials, notes, and homework
assignments. Instructors can easily provide written
worksheets, readings, and reference sheets to learners.
But what about the spoken language?
The ESL Audio Kiosk
The ESL Audio Kiosk system described on this web site
represents an approach to the challenge of providing
enhanced structured listening opportunities to learners.
The "Digital Divide", is a term used to describe the
current reality where some learners may have access to
advanced technology, while other s have little or no access.
The ESL Audio Kiosk system is specifially designed to
provide a "level playing field" in programs that have
learners with limited access to technology.
If your program is comprised of students who both posess
advanced technology such as SmartPhones, and are comfortable
using the technology there are better options. If this is your
situation, consider distributing audio material using
Internet based podcasts.
The Kiosk system is designed to use simple and inexpensive
technology costing as little as $10 per student.
This puts it within the reach of all students and programs.
The Kiosk system was created to empower the learner to
control their own listening process.
Instructors can utilize the Kiosk system even if their
personal technology skills are minimal.
Even instructors with minimal technology skills can use
the Kiosk system.
Simple and inexpensive student MP3 players are available
whose controls are limited to play/pause, volume up,
volume down, next selection, previous selection.
The goal of this web site is to provide not only background
information about the ESL Audio Kiosk system, but also to
provide all the supporting information needed to implement
The software application at the heart of Kiosk functionality
runs on Linux and Mac OSX. More information is available
about suggested hardware including very low cost Linux netbooks.
The Kiosk application was written in 2012-2015 by Peter
Schmitt. It is copyrighted under the terms of the GNU
General Public License version 2. Users are free to utilize
the application without fees, and to freely redistribute
the Kiosk software, so long as original credits and
notations are maintained.
Documentation is made available under the terms of
Creative Commons. That means that you are free to copy as
well as distribute the copies.
For the convenience of teachers who have not yet learned to
create / edit audio files, there are ready-to-use selection
available in the Open-ESL.org Sandbox.