Teaching Tips from AE – Podcasting Part 1- Podcasting for the Classroom

Teaching Tips from AE – Podcasting Part 1- Podcasting for the Classroom


American English American English Teach and learn American English Hi! and welcome to Teaching Tips from
American English! These short professional development videos share current
practical knowledge and classroom ideas for EFL teachers around the globe. In
Part 1 of this Teaching Tip topic Jeff Kuhn will help you discover some
great podcasts you can use to increase student interest in your English
language classroom. Welcome Jeff! Hi Amy! Thanks for that
introduction and welcome to the presentation everyone. Today we’re
going to talk about podcasts and one of the reasons I love podcasts is because
they allow me to bring students’ interests into the classroom, which I think is a really important part of
the day-to-day interaction between teachers and students. So how do we incorporate these ideas that
students may have outside the classroom into the classroom and podcasts are a
great way to do that. So our goals today are: first discover
podcasts, where they are and what they are. And second, how and why to use them in the
English classroom. Now um, before we take an overview of podcasts,
let’s define our terms of what is a podcast? Basically a podcast is short for
“pod” and “broadcast.” It’s a portmanteau or combination of words. So podcasts are basically, um, small
little broadcasts, kind of like radio broadcasts. They’re of little
presentations that are created individually. Now they’re similar to, uh, as I mentioned,
radio shows, except that they are downloadable and they often cater to
specific audiences or specific topics. Now what’s nice about podcasts from the
teacher point of view is that they’re offered under a creative commons license.
And under this creative commons license, material can be used and modified
without needing the expressed permission of the author, which means as teachers we
can edit and change many podcasts for the classroom. And we’ll see how to do
that in our next video. But for right now let’s just talk about
what make podcast what makes podcasts great for the
classroom. What’s nice about them is that they’re downloadable so we can find them
online, but we can download them to our computers, to our phones, to our mp3
players. And, as I just said podcasts are .mp3 encoded. What that
means is it’s an audio type of format that is smaller than on other audio
formats, which means they’re easy to download if you have like a slow
internet connection or you’re downloading downloading them over a cellular signal.
So they’re often between 20 and 50 megabytes, and they cover a wide range of
topics and best of all, podcasts are free! So they’re free to listen to online, and
they’re often free to download and use for you know listening practice or for
classroom practice as well Now since podcasts are individually made,
it can be difficult to locate them. However we can begin searching for the
best podcasts for our classroom by checking a few key locations. One of my
favorite places to find podcasts is NPR and we can go to npr.org and find a
range of podcasts on educational topics. The site breaks them out into different
fields for easier searching so we can find art, health, technology, TV and film. However what NPR does really well is
cover news and current events so podcasts from this site are probably
more suitable for our advanced learner’s. Now another side I love to use and I love to
use with perhaps my lower level learners is voanews.com Now as teachers, you’re probably familiar
with Voice of America, and they have a lot of great news stories that our students can
listen to, but they also make some great podcasts. What makes these podcasts relevant to us
is their big focus on international affairs. So here you can find podcasts focusing on
geographic regions, such as “Africa News Tonight,” that covers the African
continent, “Crossroads Asia,” which covers most of
Asia and of course we have “American Cafe,” which you know highlights stories from America, so our
students can get a little, you know, American cultural practice there. Another
website I recommend for teachers looking for podcasts is “Learn out Loud.” Now, unlike, um, Voice of America and NPR,
“Learn out Loud” doesn’t make podcasts, but instead it hosts them. So it’s more of a
directory for a wide variety podcasts. So it’s a great place to go, and you can see
they have their podcasts broken out by categories, so science, politics,
language, education. For all these different areas that students can search
through and find a podcast that’s relevant to them. Now another great place to go is Ted. You
might be familiar with the TED Talks on video, but they also make some great
podcasts, and a lot of these podcasts focus on new ideas and current events, so
it’s another great way to get our students listening to new ideas and
prompting discussions around important current events. Another great place for podcasts is Podcast Alley and what this one does it collects podcasts from all over the Internet and
provides the most current and most popular ones each week. So it’s a great
place to go to kind of tap into the the conversation occurring around podcasts
any given week. So podcasts are this form of communication that really have their
own rhythm. Students should to listen to podcasts on a topic they want to cover, so
they can hear how they should sound. So if we want our students doing interviews,
have them listen to podcasts on NPR first. Students interested in video games should
listen to game-focused podcasts, such as “Polygons Quality Control.” Now podcasts can be a great way to bring
listening and to bring current events into the classroom but they need a little
more structure around them if we’re going to use them to target
certain grammar or target certain speech patterns. So we should use them as a
building block for activities in the classroom, like listening comprehension
or cloze exercises. Or if our students are advanced enough, they can do dictation um or perhaps translation would be
another great one. Other things are speech-related, like accent reduction,
learning new vocabulary that students can then practice, and of course they could
start debates or have discussions on opinions and understand American culture,
sort of the American viewpoint, through some of these podcasts. Summing up, we
talked about what podcasts are, where to find podcasts and how to use podcasts in our
classroom to create lots of different opportunities for listening, speaking,
reading, writing. Now what we didn’t talk about though was how to make podcasts. So
on our next video we’re going to investigate how to make her own podcasts, and more
importantly how to get our students making podcasts. So again I’d like to say thanks for
joining me in this video presentation. My name is Jeff Kuhn, and I’m looking
forward to seeing you in video number two. To check out other great Teaching
Tip videos, be sure to subscribe to our American English YouTube channel. You can
find resources for teachers on the American English website by clicking on
the link listed here, and if you haven’t already, be sure to like us on the
American English for Educators Facebook page!

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