Saturday, December 1, 2012

Using Podcasts in Language Classrooms

Podcasts can be used in language classrooms in the way of integrating the four main language skills (listening, reading, speaking, and writing)

In listening and speaking class, by employing podcasts, teachers can help students to improve note-taking and discussion skills. When they listen the first time, students need to listen and write down as much information as they can according to what they hear. They can listen again, when they need to pay special attention to catch the key words and try to make an outline of the podcast. Teachers can also design certain transcripts completion worksheets as scaffolding to help students to capture the missing information. Then, students will be required to compare the notes they took in groups and each group needs to give definition of the key/new concepts from the podcasts or reading material.  Hence, their speaking skills will be improved as well when exchanging their notes. 

In reading and writing class, teachers can use a podcast as a prompt, after which students will be given some other relevant reading materials of the same topic as the podcast's. Hence, students can get an reinforcement in understanding the theme based on the context of what they have heard and read. Also, teachers can design a series of questions involved higher order of thinking, like analyzing the reason and offering solutions, etc. For example, in a group discussion section, students will be asked to state their opinion by using the facts or expressions from the podcast or reading material to support their views. In the end, students will be required to summarize what they learned from the podcast and reading material. 

Here is a practice of using podcast in teaching Listening and Speaking: Dining at a Restaurant.

  I.         Listen to the podcast carefully and take note.
  II.       Compare notes with your partner  (Pair Work) and make an outline together.
  III.      Answer the questions according to your notes:
  1.   Why did the author go to the restaurant called Il Fornaio?
  2.   How is the hostess like? Explain why do you think so by using the information from the podcast.
  3.   Draw a picture of the silverware set up.
  4.   What did the author and his friend order for drinks?
  5.   What appetizer did the author consider as a must?

 IV.         Peer interview
1.     Who does the cooking in your family/ house?    
2.     What is your favourite food?
a.     How often you eat it

b.     How the food is made

c.     Whether you make it yourself 
d.     Why it is your favourite food.

3.     How often do you eat out?
4.     What is your favourite restaurant?
a.     Where the restaurant was
b.     Why you chose this restaurant
c.     What type of food you ate in this restaurant
d.     What you enjoyed about this place

5.     Many people say that cooking and eating at home is better for the individual and the family than eating out in restaurants or canteens. Do you agree or disagree?


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Dr. Burgos!! I really learned a lot from your class... I love it... I will pursue a phd. program at UB in Foreign and Second Language Acquisition, specializing in digital literacy...