May MEC Clinic – Using Voki and VoiceThread with MEC


The MEC training team, Steph and Sarah, write:

On the 29th May we held our 10th online Macmillan English Campus clinic. The title of the clinic was:   

 Tips and ideas on how to use MEC resources with Voki and Voicethread.

Ann Foreman

The clinic was written and presented by Ann Foreman, a teacher trainer and ICT coordinator for the British Council, Bilbao. Ann also has her own blog called Encouraging Learner Autonomy where you’ll find all sorts of great ideas about how to use technology in the classroom.

Click here to see the clinic presentation on Ann’s sample class blog. Scroll down the blog or choose to read about either Voki or VoiceThread by selecting a blog archive link from the list on the right.

Voki is a free website where you can create on-screen characters and create podcasts to give them a voice. Ann demonstrated how to set up a Voki account and create and edit a character. She also suggested how the site would be good to use with MEC exercises on Likes and dislikes and Gerunds and infinitives. For an example of Ann’s PET level students using Voki to make oral presentations, click here or here.

VoiceThread is a free website where you can create annotated slide shows with a voice over to describe the contents of your presentation. Ann demonstrated how to set up a VoiceThread account, choose photographs for a slide show from (a great site for high quality photos) and create annotations and an audio description for the presentation. VoiceThread is particularly useful for preparing students for the speaking part of the Cambridge Suite of exams (KET to Proficiency) in the section where candidates are asked to describe and compare photographs. It would be a great complement to the current exam preparation resources in MEC which offer reading and writing practice for the Cambridge exams. VoiceThread lets learners choose the photos they use which means they are much more likely to be enthusiastic about what they have to say.

Tips for using online tools like Voki and VoiceThread

·         If you are working in an IT suite you can ask your learners to create Voki or VoiceThread material during the lesson. Otherwise, creating a Voki or VoiceThread presentation is a fun way for learners to do their homework. If you have an interactive whiteboard or a computer and a data projector in your classroom, you can review the presentations together in class. It’s a great way to compare ideas and correct errors.

·         If you’re using MEC for a distance learning course, Voki or VoiceThread presentions are a great way for students to submit oral homework to you and make a great change from telephone lessons. They provide a record of your learners’ speaking skills which could also be used for assessment purposes.

·         VoiceThread is very teacher-friendly. It has privacy controls, comment moderation, and a system of identities that allows all students in a class to work within one account.

Do you have any ideas for using MEC resources with Voki or VoiceThread? Have you made a presentation with your class and would like to share your experience with us? We’d be delighted to hear from you either by email or as a comment on this posting.

Our thanks to Ann and everyone who participated in the clinic. The participants were:

·         Travis Rout – British Council, Czech Republic 

·         Astrid Krake – VHS Munich, Germany

·         James Frith – BELL Cambridge, UK

·         Roberto Murakami – Cultura Inglesa, Brazil

·         Pat Clay and team – AISLi, Italy

·         Ian Gordon – Study Group, New York

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions and comments. If you are interested in attending the next MEC clinic you can contact us by leaving a comment or emailing

Leave a Comment