99 Ways to use a podcast in language education


Please add your ideas to this page, along with any examples that you know about.

1 I would use podcasts to motivate students to read newspapers. For example I would create a Radio Programme podcast where students have to give a brief update of the news in my country. (Jennifer Verschoor from Argentina)
2 Getting students to tell a story from their country
3 Teacher talking about local culture, amplifying on something that we touched on in class. This is a good term as there are lots of community events etc. that could be mentioned (Karen Haines from NZ)
4 In a grant-funded teacher training project, to record a guest speaker or panel for those who could not attend, for a wider audience later, and for project documentation and evaluation. (LM)
5 As TOEFL writing practice, give students a short podcast on a topic and a short text on the same topic. The assignment would be to write an essay that synthesizes information from both texts.
6 As a think-aloud protocol for students to record what is going on in their minds when they are performing a given task, for example, to become aware of their strategies to sort out the meaning of an unknown word in reading (if needed) and practice metacognitive skills they are not normally conscious of (BL)
7 To narrate language discoveries or linguistic insights they have had about the target language in their quest to becoming more proficient (BL)
8 Produce a monthly show with students working collaboratively in teams. Provide context (especially at the beginning). For example, ask students to visit a couple of neigbourhoods, create short, informative descriptions, and interview people living in that neighbourhood. Or, ask students to investigate cultural differences in something that's relevant for them (it was dating for my students recently!) Record and edit the show. Post it online and invite other students/schools to listen/comment on the topics discussed (Patricia)
9 "A quotations podcast"- to get learners familair with podcasting and recording their voices I would ask learners to choose a quotation they like (or find one e.g http://www.wisdomquotes.com/ ) One student per week could be asked to start the discussion off and others could then listen and record comments. This would be a sort voice version of the great idea i saw on http://www.quotationspage.com/weblog/ . It could also be extend to have an inter-cultural feel by translating quotes or exchanging national "sayings" and "proverbs". (Valentina)
10 "How To....Play" podcast project - It seems all learners know a lot of other skills and to share this information and practice giving instructions in a foreign langauge I think setting up a podcast project where learners explain how to play a sport they like (e.g basketball), how to do something unusual (e.g make candles or juggle) would be a good way to justify preparing text, having a script to read from and practising very clear speech. For first time podcasters that would be reassuring. This could also develop into an international exchange, with learners comparing pastimes internationally. It could also have fun elements "How To...for Aliens" with learners explaining basic everyday tasks (e.g how to brush your teeth) in minute detail to a extra-terrestrial ;-) A variant, to address the point of why listen to another student's podcast could be to get the learners to include one mistake in their order or instuctions for others to spot, once they've got the hang of things? (Valentina)
11 Students could write scripts for a radio soap in groups. Then record their voices acting the characters out. Posting could be done as homework in case students want to use audacity to edit a bit. Episodes could be short and allow for open ending or to-be-continued kind of structure. The activity could then be carried out as a project throughout a number of classes. It could be a good idea to encourage diversity of stories in different groups -comedy, science-fiction, etc.- to keep the class interested in listening to their classmates' production. A prior agreement could be made with the class as to the duration of episodes or frequency of podcasts. (Claudia Ceraso)
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