Voki is a tool which can be accessed through your internet browser. It enables you to create speaking avatars and use them as an effective learning tool. It offer teachers and students to achieve different speaking activities avoiding the face to face stage that might discourage some students. It also gives you hundreds of customization features for you avatars, including over 25 languages, male and female voices, and different sound effects. It is a tool which enables teachers to create presentations using a Voki avatar.
However, this tool needs a subscription in order to have available all the features included. a 15 days trial is offered as you sign up for the first time. But if you have total access to this tool. it may bring you many useful features to work with students at any level.
1) Why is this particular tool or technology relevant to language learning? What approaches to language learning or research underpin the use of this technology?
As Antonios Antonopoulos posted on their blog for teachers and learners who love technology, In general, students’ anxiety while speaking in front of a group may negatively affect their performance (Kongme et al. 2011) Therefore, as Harmer (2007:183) suggests, students who don’t feel very comfortable to speak in front of a classroom. Thus, Voki brings a brilliant opportunity for students to achieve speaking activities without the anxiety that traditional speaking activities generate.
2) How might you use it to foster language learning? Think about your target audience.
It may help you a lot to work with students that feel ashamed by face to face activities which includes speaking skill development. Presentations can be made and others activities can be created by using avatars instead of working in the traditional way.
3) What limitations can you see with the use of this technology for the purposes of language learning?
The limitations with this technology is the subscription needed to fully use all the features available in the website. Besides this complication, the very same customization may be a distraction for students since the it is kind of bizarre. Students may loose the pedagogical focus of the tool by playing with the avatars.