Sunday, 11 March 2012


What is MailVU? What does it do?

MailVU is a website that offers free video e-mail service. It allows users to record up to 10 minutes and they can send their video e-mails directly by a simple click. Users do not even need to sign up for an account to use MailVU; however, they can play with more functions once their accounts are set. For example, they can set a self-destruct time to the video, or instantly delete a sent video from the dashboard so that the recipient can no longer view it. They can also get a short link to the video and post on Twitter, Facebook or blog.

Why is MailVU relevant to language learning?

MailVU is a great tool for strengthening students' English speaking ability. In order to carry out a successful video recording, they might need to compose the draft and practice saying it a lot. Once they play and watch the video they have made, they still might find it necessary to correct their pronunciation and rerecord it. Through this kind of task completion process, learners can really exercise their communicative skills.

Owing to the immediacy, accessibility and friendliness of MailVU, both teachers and students can use it to achieve teaching and learning goals on a daily basis. For example, teachers can ask students to send a video of them pronouncing the new words they have learned in class, and teachers can give immediate feedback as well.

How can we use MailVU to foster language learning in class or outside class?

In class

In a classroom where access to the internet, computers and microphones is available, teachers can pair up students and ask them to take turns to describe or introduce each other for 5 minutes. They need to send the video e-mail from MailVU to their own e-mail address (so that they can view it from anywhere). Then for homework, teachers can ask students to watch the video from home, note down things that can be improved, redo the recording task and send it to teachers for assessment. 

Outside class

Teachers can give students different kinds of tasks such as talking about your dinner, describing the weather today, sharing your happiest/saddest thing today, etc.

What are the limitations with the use of MailVU?

1. It might be both mentally and physically demanding for teachers of large class to give feedback to every student.

2. Users cannot download videos from MailVU unless they pay for the business account.

3. All video e-mails on MailVU will be kept no more than 365 days.

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