Lesson 4: Input vs. Intake

Enhancing Intake through Technology

The Internet provides thousands of examples of speech. How can we as educators help learners process and comprehend the resources, thereby enhancing the level of intake? Interactive forums such as blogs present opportunities for students to become conscious participants in the language learning process.


Prof. Kelm illustrates how a blog site can create activities for students to analyze language input.

Duration: 03:48

Flash player not found. Play in new window.

By participating in the student blog that accompanies this course (Practical Phonetics), students themselves provide hundreds of examples of speech from the various dialects of the Spanish-speaking world. The blog site provides students an array of input (in the form of text, audio, and video): class lectures, class notes, instructor comments, instructor examples, summaries of course content, recordings of Spanish, descriptions of phonetic features and other assistance to understanding phonetics and phonology, and a growing list of samples of Spanish dialects.

In addition, the site offers students various opportunities to analyze the input. Each semester students themselves write phonetic transcriptions of languages that they don't speak, just to giving them practice in listening. So students populate the blog with transcriptions of words in Albanian, Hebrew, and Korean.

Through the blog site, students are not just exposed to the different dialects of the Spanish speaking world, but they have access to the analysis from the instructor and from other peers in the class. The class notes section exemplifies how students engage in the analysis of input. After each lecture, a group is assigned to write out the notes from the day's class and post them on the blog.


Students post copies of the class notes on the course blog.

Duration: 00:56

Flash player not found. Play in new window.

The student blog takes advantage of technology by providing students with new and varied examples of Spanish. There are video clips, audio recordings, student analyses with phonetic transcriptions. There are pdf files with charts. There are electronic slide presentations that are saved as movie files. There are polls, written comments from users, class notes, links to phonetics sites, links to music lyrics. There is just a growing number of items that students have access to, all to increase the amount of language that they are exposed to and to turn it into intake for their analysis.

Think about how the various features offered on this blog site enhance language intake? What other features would you like to see on such a site to encourage students to analyze language?