My Account

Learn a second language at your own pace

When you are learning a second language, listening comprehension is probably the most important skill you can develop. However, the opportunities are not always ideal and the content is not always adapted to your learning level. The new Mauril application, which focuses on audio and video content from Radio-Canada and CBC, offers interesting possibilities. We spoke with two teachers who use it with different approaches.

When you are learning a second language, listening comprehension is probably the most important skill you can develop. However, the opportunities are not always ideal and the content is not always adapted to your learning level. The new Mauril application, which focuses on audio and video content from Radio-Canada and CBC, offers interesting possibilities. We spoke with two teachers who use it with different approaches.

It was a happy coincidence that Ann Dontigny, a resource person for the local RÉCIT service at the Au-Cœur-des-Vallées school service center, met Anne Hébert, head of the Mauril project at Radio-Canada. After Anne introduced her to Mauril, Ann looked for teachers willing to use the app in their school service center classrooms. Mauril is a new application which uses audio and video content from Radio-Canada and CBC to learn or improve English or French.

Last spring, two teachers participated in a pilot project to use Mauril in class. They had the opportunity to provide feedback with the goal of improving the app for classroom use. Even if the application is intended for the general public, it certainly offers possibilities for teaching languages in schools. It is also available to everyone, in web and mobile versions.

Every new Mauril user starts by taking a placement test in the language of their choice (French or English). Based on the results, the app offers audio or video content suitable for the user’s language learning level. The content varies from very short for beginners (less than thirty seconds) to longer for more advanced learners (more than 30 minutes).

At the end of each listening session, a questionnaire verifies comprehension and allows the user to move on to the next level (or not). The content is entirely taken from Radio-Canada and CBC programming.

LEARNING ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE

Josée Allard, an English as a second language teacher at Louis-Joseph-Papineau school, used Mauril in two different ways with her Secondary 3 students. She played a segment on beekeeping to a large group. This served as a starting point for a larger web-based research project on the topic.

In addition, during visits to the computer laboratory, the students were able to take placement tests and listen to content independently. “It was an activity we did for fun. They were calm and focused. They were excited by the fact that they could choose themes they liked and the content was always adapted to their level. I also know that they appreciated the instant feedback at the end of each listen,” says the teacher.

She plans to use the app again this year. Since it is available everywhere, in both web and mobile versions, she will be able to encourage her students to complete activities from home as well.

LEARNING FRENCH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE

Renée Aubry, a French teacher at Hormisdas-Gamelin secondary school, uses Mauril in a completely different way. Her students are between 12 and 16 years old and they barely know a few words of French or even English. She does not hesitate to say that the new application has “changed her life!” She now begins her class with 15 unstructured minutes on Mauril.

“The content really follows the level of the students. It’s such a winner. This is differentiation at its best. It’s a type of training activity that goes beyond the traditional framework and can reach everyone,” she raves.

Another significant positive point of the application is that the content is entirely Canadian. It allows you to discover everyday words and expressions, both in French and in English, while taking into account the diversity of the country. “It’s an immersion in our culture. For young people who have just arrived in the country, it is an added value since it contributes to their integration at the same time.”

If Renée had one wish, it would be to eventually have access to a dashboard that would allow her to monitor her students’ progress. Who knows, maybe it will be in a future version of the app!

Martine Rioux

Martine Rioux

Leave a Reply

Sign up for our Newsletter

Welcome Back!

Login if you are subscribed to one of our services to access exclusive member content!