Posts tagged podcast

Podcasting with Language Learners

At the Little POdcast Logo Thingend of 2011 I travelled up to Innsbruck, Austria to do some teacher training for one of the top language schools there, Die Sprache. We looked at a number of handy ICT tools for language teachers, with a focus on Podcasts. I thought I would share the slides from our training session here on the blog, so that other teachers who are thinking of using pod casts with language learners can take a look through and get a few useful hints and tips.

The presentation is basically broken down into three sections:

  • The first is a quick run through of what pod casts are and why they are (a really good) tool, suitable for language learners.
  • In the second section we look at podcasts used for active listening practice. Personally I think the fact that there are so many different topics of podcast available, as well as those made specifically for language learners, means that there are a great way of introducing regular listening practice to your learners.
  • Then the third and final part of our workshop looked at using the brilliant Open Source sound recording software, Audacity. At first sight audacity can be a bit intimidating. I don’t really mind admitting that I only ever use about 5% of Audacity’s capabilities, but the ability to edit and mix sound recordings really make your recordings sound more professional. At the end of the day I’ve used Audacity with a class full of 15-year-olds, and it went very smoothly. A surefire sign of simple software.

Please feel free to take a look through the slides, and even share them with your colleagues if you wish. If you have any questions or if anything is not quite clear, please do ask any questions in the comment section below (these slides are of course designed to be used in a face-to-face seminar with me present, online they lose something.) Of course, if you would like me to come to your school to deliver this seminar in person, just drop me a line for a quote:

Twitter: @sethdickens
email: i n f o (a t) d i g i t a l a n g . c o m

Finally, I promised the teachers at Die Sprache who taught languages other than English, that I would find a few podcasts suitable for them. I didn’t find a great deal of sites, but here’s what I’ve found so far:

Radio Lingua Language-learning – Possibly the best group of language learning podcasts I’ve seen yet!

Schlaflos in München – der Podcast mit Annik Rubens – A very classy podcast from Munich. – Andreas Auwerter’s Posdast

Podcasting for Learning » Zwei neue Interviewpartner im Bidcast online – Andreas Auwerter’s blog about podcasting
In addition to these links, I also have a list of links that (might) useful for teaching German and Spanish on my Delicious account:

If you know of any more links good for teaching these languages, please do let me know in the comments.


The Archers Podcast

After reading a post by Dennis Newson, from the Webheads newsgroup,where he was brave enough to admit he listens to the Archers, I felt inspired to admit that yes, I too am an Archers fan!

The Archers is a very long running radio soap opera and is one of BBC Radio 4’s most popular programs. The reason why we are talking about it is that it has now been put on to the already excellent list of podcasts that Radio 4 produces. This means that teachers or students can download each day’s episode for free and listen to it either on their computer or on an Mp3 player (such as an iPod.)

The great thing about the Archers is that it is only 10 -15 minutes long and so won’t overload students who already have a reasonable level of English. There are all sorts of activities you could ask your students to do with a program like this, here are a few ideas I had:

  • Ask a different student each day to listen and write a short summary of that day’s episode. They could then post it to a class blog.
  • The class listens to an episode with the traditional comprehension tasks, then after hearing the “cliffhanger” finish to the episode, each student makes two or three predictions as to what will happen next.
  • The class listens to a weeks worth of episodes. Each student chooses a character from the show and keeps a blog from their point of view. They write a blog entry each day commenting on what happened in that episode as their character would have seen it.
  • After listening to a few episodes of the show, the students could visit two different fan websites of the Archers: and and compare the different viewpoints of the fans
  • The teacher could prepare a n Archers internet treasure hunt based on the idyllic country life that The Archers lead….

I’m sure we can think of other ideas… is anyone else as daring as Dennis was to admit they listen to The Archers though?

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