About the call course Book 12 Introduction to Computer Assisted Language Learning 13 eLearning courses for teachers 20

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Copying and recording audio

Most sound cards have four 1/8" jacks- two outputs and two inputs at the back of the computer . One of the inputs will be marked as the microphone input by the word "Mic" or by an icon of a microphone. Don't use that one!
Instead, find the Line input. Check the markings on the back of your sound card to determine which one it is - there are usually either symbols or text labels back there to help you out. If the labels are not clear, refer to your manual. Make sure that the plug you use going into your sound card is a 1/8" stereo connector.
The next step is to start the recording / editing software. The POOLS teams can recommend Audacity: Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems.
To download the software go to http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
The Audacity software allows you to:

-record live audio

-convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs

-edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, and WAV sound files

-cut, copy, splice, and mix sounds together

-change the speed or pitch of a recording

- and much more!

After recording, it is possible to fine tune the results, with a noise filter for example.

The resulting files can then be written to different file formats (e.g. mp3 files that can be distributed online and podcast).

Best of all, Audacity has excellent documentation and step by step tutorials. Please go to http://audacity.sourceforge.net/help/tutorials

How to copy VHS to DVD

The simple way is to use a DVD stand alone recorder and then connect a VHS player to it.

If the result is not acceptable due to noise or bad quality tapes, then it can be enhanced with a video stabiliser, an apparatus which in some cases also makes it possible to copy copy-protected commercial tapes, BUT in many countries such a procedure is illegal!


Copying VHS and other video recordings to a computer

To copy from a video player (and some older cameras), some hardware must be purchased. A recommended solution is to purchase a Plextor “Digital Video Converter”, a small device that comes complete with all the required software for recording and copying. It is attached to a computer by the USB port.

The “Digital Video Converter” is connected to the computer by a USB cable

The Plextor CornvertX “Digital Video Converter” has input for audio, video and also S-video

VHS to files suitable for websites (e.g. wmv files)

The first step is to get the video onto the computer. Please read “Copying VHS and other video recordings to a computer”. When the video has been grabbed, there are several ways of converting it into a web based format like .wmv. Most devices (e.g. The Plextor CornvertX “Digital Video Converter”) that can be purchased come complete with all the software needed to save as .wmv files.

Another option is the free Microsoft Windows Media Encoder, which can record, broadcast live events, and convert video files. To download and read more about this software go to:


Microsoft Media Encoder

Teaching Foreign Languages to Hearing Impaired Students

Learning about deaf and hearing impaired students:

SIGNALL is a transnational language competency and training project which aims to increase awareness of Deaf culture and sign languages amongst organisations, employers and hearing people. It aims to cultivate a behavioural change and commitment by organisations, employer bodies, educational establishments, public authorities and society as a whole in the way people who are deaf are perceived and treated.
Participant countries include the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, Spain and the UK.
SIGNALL's awareness information pack aims to provide a mechanism that will witness a change in the way society in general behaves towards hearing impaired people - not by being tolerant as in the past, but through social integration, access and understanding.

Products include a book, a DVD documentary, a CD-ROM and a website.

For more information, please visit www.signallproject.com

Sign language is not international. For instance, the sign language for Spain will be different from the one for Costa Rica even though the spoken language is the same. So hearing impaired people who are internationally mobile feel encouraged to learn lip-reading and possibly even to pronounce a foreign language.

In fact, hearing impaired people have to decide on their goals for a foreign language class: e.g. learning to pronounce, speech-read or read/write. Furthermore, they have to discuss with their teacher how they plan to conduct the lessons: e.g. using voice, finger-spelling everything, mixed signing/finger-spelling, cued speech7.

However, no matter how deeply hearing impaired students want to delve into a foreign language, audio-visual materials are helpful irrespective of whether the goal of foreign language learning is merely a perceptive or also a productive one.

Tips for Teaching Hearing Impaired Students by means of Audio-Visual Materials

  • Take advantage of a variety of assistive listening devices (e.g. amplifiers) for watching foreign TV or foreign language movies.

  • Use more reading/writing activities such as transcribed audiocassette activities or computer assisted language learning software.

  • Whenever possible, use video-clips or movies that have subtitles in the foreign language.

Subtitling Audio-Visual Materials

The decision to subtitle audio-visual language learning materials implies further decisions, for instance:

  • Should you offer full transcriptions of the text spoken in a foreign language or merely the gist of it?

  • Should you offer foreign language transcriptions with or without translation into the mother tongue of the student?

  • Should you straighten out flaws in the spoken original when subtitling or stick to the original (even linguistically faulty) version?


  • A transnational language competency and training project which aims to increase awareness of Deaf culture and sign languages amongst organisations, employers and hearing people. http://www.signallproject.com

  • Educational subtitling for deaf children

Damper, R. I., Baker, R. G., Lambourne, A. D., Downton, A. C., King, R. W. and Newell, A. F. (1984) Educational subtitling for deaf children. In Proceedings of Proceedings of Second International Conference on Rehabilitation Engineering, pp. 304-305.

  • Teaching English to Deaf Learners in China http://www.eslcafe.com/forums/teacher/viewtopic.php?t=1056

  • Creating an Online English Course for Deaf by Elina McCambridge emccambr@sun3.oulu.fi first results expected to be published online in spring 2007

  • An English link list on forums and research institutions serving the needs of deaf people http://www.deafblind.com/deafness.html

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