top of page

Podcasts and English Language Teaching

Speak Up! The ELT Podcast: Inspiring English Learners Worldwide.

The term "podcast" is derived from combining the words "iPod" and "broadcast," although podcasts are not limited to iPods and can be played on various media players, computers, and stereo systems. Podcasts are typically available online through websites or blogs, where additional content and tools can be accessed alongside the multimedia files (Rosell-Aguilar, 2007). Podcasting is an engaging and effective tool for language acquisition as it enables learners to access authentic recordings on their personal computers. Moreover, podcasting provides learners with the opportunity to record and publish their own spoken language content (Lee, 2009). They provide access to a wide range of authentic input, including news feeds and radio programming, as well as language courses and teaching materials specifically designed for language learning (Rosell-Aguilar, 2007). Teachers and learners can also create content for a podcast using the target language. When creating a podcast, learners have the opportunity to produce and contextualize words, practicing their use in a communicative context and expanding their vocabulary (Oxford & Crookall, 1990). The studies show numerous advantages of podcasts for language learning. They offer a portable, convenient, and easy-to-use format, allowing learners to access content whenever and wherever they want (Lee, 2009). The attractiveness and motivational aspects of podcasts contribute to learners' engagement and sustained interest in the language learning process (Stanley, 2006). Additionally, podcasts provide easy access to a wealth of authentic and tailored teaching materials, making them a valuable resource for language learners (Rosell-Aguilar, 2007). Overall, podcasts present a flexible and dynamic medium for language learning, offering learners the opportunity to immerse themselves in authentic language input, improve their language skills, and enhance their motivation to learn.

 

 

 

 

Here are the popular podcast tools that can be used in language teaching:

  • Podomatic: Podomatic is a user-friendly podcast hosting and creation platform that allows individuals to easily create, publish, and share their own podcasts. With Podomatic, teachers and students can unleash their creativity and develop their communication skills by producing their own audio content. Whether it's storytelling, interviews, educational discussions, or sharing personal experiences, Podomatic provides a platform for students to express themselves and engage with a wider audience. Podomatic offers a range of features to enhance the podcasting experience. Users can record their podcasts directly through the platform or upload pre-recorded audio files. The built-in editing tools enable teachers and students to fine-tune their recordings, adding intros, outros, or background music to create a professional sound. Once the podcast is ready, it can be published on the Podomatic platform, as well as shared on popular podcast directories and social media platforms. (https://www.podomatic.com/)

  • VoiceThrerad: VoiceThread is a dynamic multimedia platform that allows students to engage in collaborative discussions using a variety of media formats, including voice recordings, images, videos, and text. With VoiceThread, teachers and students can share their ideas, provide feedback, and communicate asynchronously, fostering a more interactive and engaging learning experience. One of the key features of VoiceThread is its versatility in facilitating multi-modal communication. Teachers and students can record their voices directly on the platform, offering a personalized touch to their discussions. They can also upload images or videos and annotate them with text or audio comments, enabling a deeper exploration and analysis of visual content. Additionally, they can engage in text-based conversations, providing written responses and engaging in threaded discussions. (https://voicethread.com/)

  • Audacity: Audacity is a popular and versatile audio editing software that can be used in language learning for various purposes. With Audacity, teachers/students can record, edit, and manipulate audio files, allowing them to engage in a range of language-related activities. Audacity also allows students to create audio projects or podcasts. They can combine recorded speech with background music, sound effects, or other audio elements to produce engaging and informative content. Teachers and students can also import audio files, such as interviews, speeches, or audio lessons, into Audacity and manipulate the playback speed, repeat specific segments, or extract excerpts for focused listening practice. Furthermore, Audacity's editing features allow students to modify audio recordings by cutting, copying, and pasting sections, as well as applying effects and filters. (https://www.audacityteam.org/).

  • Podbean: Podbean is a podcast hosting and publishing platform that allows users to create, upload, and share their own podcasts. It provides a user-friendly interface and a range of features that make it an excellent tool for language learning and podcast creation. With Podbean, teachers/students can create their own podcasts to practice their speaking and listening skills. They can record their voices, engage in conversations, share their thoughts, or deliver presentations on various language topics. Podbean offers easy podcast editing capabilities, allowing users to trim, split, and merge audio files. They can refine their podcast episodes by removing mistakes, adding background music or sound effects, and creating a professional-sounding final product. The platform also provides options to enhance the audio quality through built-in editing tools and filters. (https://www.podbean.com/).

  • Spreaker: Spreaker is a popular podcasting platform that allows users to create, host, and distribute their own podcasts. It offers a range of features and tools that make it a valuable resource for language learning and podcast creation. With Spreaker, teachers/students can easily record and edit their podcast episodes. They can use the platform's built-in recording tools to capture their voices, add background music, and include sound effects. The editing capabilities enable them to trim, rearrange, and enhance their audio files, ensuring a polished final product. Spreaker provides options for live broadcasting, allowing teachers/students to engage in real-time conversations, interviews, or discussions. The platform also offers hosting and distribution services, making it simple for learners to publish their podcasts and share them with others. They can upload their episodes to Spreaker and have them automatically distributed to various podcast directories and platforms, reaching a wider audience and facilitating engagement with listeners. (https://www.spreaker.com/).

  • Zencastr: Zencastr is a web-based podcasting tool that provides a simple and efficient way to record high-quality audio interviews and conversations remotely. It is designed to help podcasters, including language learners, overcome the challenges of distance and time constraints by facilitating collaborative recording sessions. One of the key features of Zencastr is its ability to record each participant's audio locally, ensuring a crisp and clear sound quality. This eliminates issues such as background noise, internet connectivity problems, or varying microphone quality, which can often affect remote recordings. By recording audio locally, Zencastr captures high-fidelity audio tracks from each participant, resulting in professional-grade recordings. Zencastr also offers automatic post-production features that enhance the recording quality further. It automatically separates each participant's audio tracks, removes any cross-talk or overlapping voices, and adjusts the volume levels for a balanced sound. These post-production features save time and effort in editing and polishing the podcast episodes. The platform simplifies the process of inviting participants to a recording session. It generates unique links for each participant, allowing them to join the recording with just a click. Another advantage of Zencastr is its cloud-based storage, which securely stores and backs up the recorded audio files. This ensures that the podcast episodes are safely stored and can be accessed from anywhere. (https://zencastr.com/).

References

  • Lee, l. (2009). Promoting intercultural exchanges with blogs and podcasting: a study of Spanish–American telecollaboration. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 22(5), 425-443.

  • Oxford, R., & Crookall, D. (1990). Vocabulary learning: A critical analysis of techniques. TESL Canada Journal, 7(2), 09–593.

  • Rosell-Aguilar, F. (2007). Top of the pods—In search of a podcasting “podagogy” for language learning. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 20(5), 471-492.

  • Stanley, G. (2006). Podcasting: Audio on the Internet games of age. TESL-EJ, 9(4), 1–7

bottom of page