Speaking at Home

It is difficult to get students to do speaking practice at home, but asking them to record something (i.e. create a podcast) can work.

Here are some ideas of tasks you can ask your learners to do:

  • Ask the learners to record a fake answerphone message. This works well if it is a follow-up to a role-playing activity done in class (e.g. the learners complain about something they have bought and decide to ring the shop, but nobody answers and so they leave a message)
  • Tongue Twisters such as 'She sells sea shells on the sea-shore' etc. can be short and fun for students to practise
  • Get the learners to record a short tour of their house. Back in class, the others listen and see if they can draw a plan based on the description.
  • Ask the learners to imagine they have been selected to record a message to send into space on a special mission, in case there is alien life out there. What would they say? The results of this can be very amusing.
  • A one minute message to the President/Leader of your country. Ask the students to prepare a message they would like him/her to hear.
  • Decide on a controversial discussion topic for class and ask students to prepare a short podcast (1 minute) of their views on one side of the debate. Follow this up in class by playing the recordings then holding the debate.


Of course, the learners have to have access to technology to be able to record at home. Here are some ways they may be able to do so:

  • Mobile phones. Many mobile phones now come equipped with voice recorders. Check with your students and get them to try them out to see if they work in class.
  • Computer with a microphone. If your learners have access to this (either at home or at the school/university/library/etc.) then a great free recording editing tool they can use is Audacity.

1) Introduction 2) LL Podcasts 3) Authentic 4) Speaking - home 5) Speaking - class 6) Find out more