The use of Dyned for juniors students at university of foreign language studies - Part 1

Together with the increasing trend to use ICT (Information and Communication Technology) in teaching and learning English in Vietnam, University of Foreign Languages Studies, the University of Danang has strongly emphasized the use of Dyned, a courseware made by Dyned Corporation to enhance English skills of its students. This trend has gained some considerable progress which will be mentioned in this article. Also, prominent features of Dyned as well some recommendations are brought about in this article.
  1. Statement of the problem

In the present time, together with modern development of the world, the teaching and learning English in Vietnam now has changed a lot with the popular application of ICT (Information and Communication Technology). Thanks to this trend, the teaching and learning English process has been improved a lot as the learning environment is more favourable to learners. Many researches have proved that New ICT technologies can cre-ate a powerful motivation for students (Don Passey and Colin Rogers, with Joan Machell and Gilly McHugh, 2004), improve teacher-student communication and cre-ate interactive environments, in which learners can express their opinions, knowledge and creations (Jef Peeraer and Peter Van Petegem, 2011). In fact, Vietnamese learners of English often have to learn English without favourable conditions (lack of environment to practise with native speakers, for example). One solution to this issue is to use a courseware with native speakers’ interaction to improve this problem. Among the courseware that are recommended, Dyned is mainly used at University of Foreign Language Studies, the University of Danang. Since Dyned, a courseware made by Dyned Corporation, was used two years ago, there has been a lot of progress that can be clearly seen.

  1. Content

Background of Dyned Courseware
Founded in 1987, DynEd, which stands for Dynamic Education, is one of the first successful computer-assisted language learning softwares all over the world. DynEd has been used as training program in many school, university and famous companies in more than 40 countries. DynEd has by far had the largest range of contents available for English language learning for various age groups and language levels. This computer-based self-study work allows students to reinforce and enhance four language skills, especially listening and speaking. Moreover, using Dyned, students can strengthen their grammar knowledge.
New Dynamic English
New Dynamic English is one of the most successful courses of DynEd. This course emphasizes listening as the key skill in language acquisition. Studying with DynEd frequently is one of the effective ways to improve students’ communication skills thanks to the kits of listening and speaking exercises. One of the valuable features of New Dynamic English is that Video Interaction and Speech Recognition technology are provided to help students boost up their listening and speaking practice.
New Dynamic English includes eight modules with eight different topics ranging f-rom basic to advanced levels. Each module of the course is built around listening comprehension activities with various kinds of exercises and multimedia. Based on these features, New Dynamic English cre-ates interesting learning environment as well as offers the many practice opportunities for students.
Speech Recognition
Speech Recognition (SR) or Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) is a technology used for pronunciation improvement and conversational practice. One of the very first ASR/ SR applications in language teaching is in Professor Harry Wohlert program in 1982 named “German-by-Satellite” Krystyna & Brain (1999). Up to now, the integration of ASR/ SR is more and more widespread. We can name some ASR/SR programs such as Naturally Speaking Preferred 7.0 (2003) by Dragon Systems, ViaVoice Pro USB Edition (2003) by IBM or TeLL me More Pro.
In the line with this trend, DynEd also integrated the ASR/ SR in New Dynamic English course to recognize students’ voice. After verifying voices, the SR will analyze the spoken utterance then locate the errors. With this function, students can know their mistakes as well as whe-re they should change to improve their speaking skills. This is one of the most effective and valuable features of DynEd courseware that has a great contribution to improve students Speaking skills.
New Dynamic English let students record their voice in every Module and exercises. During the learning process, students can use Record button to transcribe their voice. After that, they can compare their voice with native speakers’ one. By doing this, students can recognize the differences between speakers’ and their speech. As a result, they can adjust or correct their speaking more effectively.
Video Interaction
As the major purpose of learning a language is to communicate, New Dynamic English provides many videos in situation language. Watching video and practicing conversations with native speakers by completing role playing exercises in this part, students can obtain the style and vocabulary native people usually use in daily conversation. Then students can stimulate and apply this knowledge in real-life communication.
Record Manager
Record Manager, an important tool in New Dynamic English, presents all student’s learning activities including the total duration for studying, time for each ask or Module and the use of other important functions such as recording or speech recognition. Thus, teachers can manage and administer the whole class. In addition, most of the online applications for learning English just provide students practice exercises and their scores. Therefore, the students cannot know and control their learning process. Unlike these tools, through Instructor’s Guide, students can directly check and evaluate their learning progress, scores and receive recommendation to help correct their mistake and enhance their skills.
Dyned’s Placement Test
DynEd’s Placement Test, mainly focusing on listening comprehension, grammar and vocabulary, is provided to learners to evaluate their language ability. Additionally, this listening-based tests’ focus is on sentence-level comprehension. Further, if the question times out or reach its limit, the test will automatically move to the next item and the current question will be counted as an incorrect one. If students miss a number of questions, the test will end. The test result aims at placing students at the appropriate starting point in DynEd's courses.
In Placement Test, students have to complete two separated parts with different kinds of questions:

  • Grammatical fill-in: this kind of question is provided in the form of multiple-choice and generally focuses on grammar as well as vocabulary.
  • Listening Comprehension: in this kind of question, students will make a correct choice after hearing a question or a statement. The answers may be a word, a number, a phrase or a sentence.
  • Sentence Construction: to complete the question, students are required to move the set of words or phrases into the correct positions.
  • Sentence Ordering: in this kind of question, students have to read the sentences and decide the right order.

According to the DynEd Placement Test’s result, students’ levels are rate on 5 point scale, f-rom 0 to 5. Further, there are suitable study recommendations for each level, which provides students appropriated courses.

Placement levels DynEd courses
0.0 – 1.0 (beginner-elementary level) New Dynamic English (Module 1-2)
1.0 – 2.0 (elementary-lower intermediate level) New Dynamic English (Module 3-4)
2.0-3.0 (intermediate-advanced level) New Dynamic English (Module 5-6); Dynamic Business English
3.0+ (advanced level) New Dynamic English (Module 7-8); Dynamic Business English

Critical thinking to the use of Dyned for junior students at University of Foreign Languages Studies, the University of Danang

Morley, Joan. (2001). Aural Comprehension Instruction: Principles and Practices. In Marianne Celce-Murcia (editor), Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language. U.S.: Heinle and Heinle.
Passey, D., Rogers, C., Machell, J., &McHugh, G. (2004). The Motivational Effect of ICT on Pupils. A report for the Department for Education and Skills, Lancaster University (Report RR523)
Passey, D., Rogers, C., Machell, J., &McHugh, G. (2004). The Motivational Effect of ICT on Pupils. A report for the Department for Education and Skills, Lancaster University (Report RR523)
Peeraer, J. & Van Petegem, P. (2011). Information And Communication Technology In Teacher Education In Vietnam: F-rom Policy To Practice
Retrieved f-rom
Wang, Pl’. (2011). The Effect of Computer-Assisted Whole Language Instruction on Taiwanese University Students’ English Learning. doi:10.5539/elt.v4n4p10

Người đăng:Nguyễn Văn Long, Phạm Thị Tố Như