Connect >> English Speaking Practice with Podcasts

Looking for ways to get extra English speaking practice opportunities? And what about feedback on your English speaking skills ... in fact feedback from a worldwide audience? Then podcasting could be just for you! There are several services available on the web that will host your podcast. This guide looks at a very popular and very easy to use site called 'Podomatic' and we'll give you some suggestions for English speaking practice.

Tools you need
- You’ll need a microphone unless you’re using an MP3 player with a built in microphone to record yourself. Adequate recordings can be made with microphones that are built into headsets.

- To do the tutorial below you won't need a recording device as we'll be using Podomatic for this. However, if you prefer to record yourself first then the simplest solution is a PC or laptop or suitable MP3 player.

- Headphones give you a better idea of the quality of your recording than trying to listen through the laptop or PC speakers. However, once again, a simple headset will do the job for your early experiments.

- You’ll need a hosting service for your podcasts, which makes publishing them an easy process. We'll be using Podomatic on this tutorial.

What to talk about?
If you need English speaking practice for an examination, download the handbook from the exam board website and try one of the individual tasks. If you can get together with a friend, you could both snuggle up to the microphone and record a discussion task.

You could record a review of the latest book you've read or film you've seen, or tell the world about your country: its food, its customs, places of interest or famous people. You could even get together with other students and record a radio show type podcast. One or two students could act as host, a couple could give a short talk on their chosen subject and others could be interviewed.

Whatever you decide to do please tell us about it. We'd like to feature students using podcasting for English speaking practice on the Splendid Speaking website.

Here we go!
1) To create your Podomatic account go to: and click ‘Sign Up’.

2) Add your details. In the section ‘Pick a PodOmatic address’, think of a word or couple or words (without spaces) that sum up the nature of your podcast. This will be the address of your podcast, for example ‘

3) If you have a photograph you’d like to use to identify the podcast – like a logo – upload the file now. or click 'Skip for now'.

4) Click ‘Post your first episode’.

5) The first instruction is to add or create an audio file. If you have already recorded yourself and have the file (mp3) on your computer you can upload it to Podomatic by clicking 'Upload media from your computer'. However, another way is to record directly on to Podomatic. To do this click 'Record with your webcam or microphone'.

6) With your microphone attached to the computer, click record.

7) You might see a message pop up. Click 'Allow' and start speaking.

8) Click 'Preview' to listen to the recording. If you need to try again click 'Re-Record', otherwise click 'Use Recording'. Then click 'Step 2'.

9) Give your first episode a title. The ‘Descriptions’ box is where you add the text that will accompany your podcast, that is the text visitors can read before downloading the recording. Then click 'Next step'.

10) If you have a picture to accompany the episode you can browse for it on your computer. Click ‘Browse’ to upload your file. Then click 'Next step'.

11) Add key words in the box that will help people find your podcast, for example: ‘English’, ‘exam’, ‘ielts’ etc. Select 'Clean' and then click 'Next step'.

12) Check the details you've added and click 'Post Episode'.

13) Your podcast has now been published. Click 'My Podcast Page' to see it.

14) Congratulations! To let others know about your new creation click copy the address of the podcast, for example and send it to someone to listen to. For feedback ask your friends or teacher to leave a comment using the 'Leave a Comment' feature.

Finally, don't forget to let us know about your podcast and whether you'd like us to link to it from Splendid Speaking.

We hope you enjoy podcasting and get lots of feedback on your English speaking practice.

Would you like more help like this for your English speaking practice?

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