Someone passed along this website to me and it is a great tool for all foreign language teachers. RhinoSpike is an online language learning community tool that lets users around the globe connect and exchange foreign language audio files. Get any foreign language text read aloud for you by a native speaker.
Sign up is free, you can submit text in the language you want it recorded in and include directions on how you want it read. Other users record themselves speaking and upload the audio file to the website for you to download. Teachers helping teachers. Students helping students. Hear how a native speaker would pronounce certain words or texts. Right now there are thousands of request for English recordings and hundreds of requests and recordings of Spanish audio. Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Korean, Russian, and many other world languages are also available!
As a teacher, I have used this in my Spanish classroom as part of listening activities. I submitted a short short text, along with a set of questions. A woman from Spain, uploaded these recordings and I was able to download them as an mp3 file and upload them to iTouch for students to listen to individually.
I first have the students listen to the audio track to see how much of the recording they can understand. Then, I have them listen to it again, this time, reading along with a script of the recording.
I then had the students transcribe the questions on a piece of paper. They wrote the questions that they heard. (I had a few notecards with the actual questions so they could check what they wrote to make sure it was correct). Then you can have the students answer the questions using the text.
If you do pronunciation assessments in your class, you can have a native speaker record a script or certain sentences that you will assess the students on. You can upload this audio file to your website and students can download it at home, or even put it on their music players, so they can listen to it as many times as they want and practice it on their own.
For ideas on pronunciation assessments, see below….
Pronunciation Assessment / Oral Speaking Test for Spanish: The script included might be something you copy and paste to submit as a Rhinospike.com audio request. Rubric is included in this file for grading student pronunciation. I usually do one of these assessments once a semester/trimester. Also includes other ideas on how to incorporate these assessments into your teacher.