How Can I Utilize It?

Teachers have shared many creative ideas for activities and tests that they have used with their students.  Here are some popular ones to consider.

Vocabulary Recognition

Assignment Types Questions can be used to determine whether students have learned vocabulary in the target language. Using a picture related to the vocabulary item helps to provide a context for the question but it is not essential. Your question could take the form of “What is this?” or the like.

Group Composition

Assignment Types Teachers could divide students into small groups and then require them to work together to prepare an oral student presentation. Students could help each other with vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation in the process of preparing and recording their presentation. Each student would record a portion of the presentation. XpressLab allows each student to record his or her part, press “pause" and then pass the headset to the next student until all parts of the presentation have been recorded. The final recording is played back as one continuous audio file. Students learn from each other and they have fun working together.

Cloze Exercises

Assignment TypesA cloze exercise is a text passage in which one or more words in a series of sentences are left out. Students must demonstrate their language competency by completing the sentences with words that make sense.

Written Responses to Oral Questions

Assignment TypesYou could ask students to listen to a recorded passage and then summarize in writing what they had heard. Or you could ask them to respond in writing to oral questions about the passage.

Oral Recording Prompts

Assignment TypesYou could use oral recordings as question prompts. For example, you could record a portion of a class lecture and, after the students listened to it, they could be required to respond to questions about the lecture or give a summary of what they heard.

Thematic Questions

Assignment TypesUsing a picture prompt, you could ask questions related to a theme which had been presented in class. For example, if you had taught students about the war of 1812, you could present a series of questions about the topic and require students to answer them.


Assignment TypesQuestions could be used to measure students' ability to read aloud. You could use a text prompt rather than a picture prompt and ask students to read a word, a sentence or a short passage they saw on their screen. You could ask students to read a longer passage as well.

If you wanted to assess students’ reading comprehension, you could ask students to read a passage and then respond to questions designed to determine whether they understood what they read. Alternatively, you could ask students to summarize in their own words what they had read.


Assignment TypesYou could record a series of words or a passage that students would have to write on a sheet of paper. Students would submit their dictation to the instructor for marking.

Situational Questions

Assignment TypesYou could record questions about a situation suggested by a picture or text prompt. For example, if you used a picture of two people at a table in a restaurant, you could ask your students to indicate what they thought the people were going to order or what they might be talking about. Or you could ask what the people in the picture would do if they realized that they had forgotten their money.