ELL Science

Practicing pronunciation of English and science vocabulary is nothing new for language learners. I could not find anything relevant and easy to use via the license-free audio or through public domains for my ELL learners. However, a program that I use already has audio functionality built into the website itself. Quizlet is a web-based platform that provides an automated speech option for learners. It reads both the term and the definition. If we look at Carter’s 4 Design Principles for Audio Instruction (2012), we can see how my personal audio file and what is provided on Quizlet can relate to each principle:

  1. Selection of the Narrative Format
    1. Informational – Delivered in a direct manner, logical organization, alphabetically when filtered.
  2. Fleeting Nature of Spoken Words
    1. Designers of audio instruction must make content memorable – Minimizing demands on short term memory and making vocabulary consistent with learning audience.
  3. Environmental Soundscape
    1. Little to no environmental soundscapes (contextual and background) so less demands on listening processing.
  4. The Difference between Hearing and Listening
    1. Requires the learner to listen and process the meaning of what is being said, not just hear to have a response.

The option to have audio is great, as it provides another layer of support to the learner. However, one issue that I have with the audio file is that there is nothing you can change with regards to the speed or male/female voice. Also, I have found that the automated voice sometimes pronounces things differently than I would or would slur some words. Therefore, I wouldn’t necessarily change it, but add an additional custom audio file to support learning. This is a paid feature on Quizlet that I have not gotten before, but I have a screenshot below for your reference.

I have also attached an audio file to supplement the audio that is accessible for my students. I would provide them this audio as part of the paid teacher feature or have a shared file with vocabulary recordings. Though I know this isn’t an elaborate audio recording/lecture on the topic, these types of audio file supports would meet the needs of the learners in my ELL classroom (Carter, 2012). 


Cell Wall:

Cell Membrane:



Carter, C.W. Instructional Audio Guidelines: Four Design Principles to Consider for Every Instructional Audio Design Effort. TECHTRENDS TECH TRENDS 56, 54–58 (2012). https://doi-org.ezproxy.tru.ca/10.1007/s11528-012-0615-z