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Topic: Introduction to Podcasting
Peter Travis gives an introduction to the podcast.
This is adapted from an article that first appeared in the ETP (English Teaching Professional) in September 2007.

Page 1: What are podcasts and why use them
Page 2: Finding and listening to them
Page 3: Using them with your students

How can I use them?
How you use ready-made podcasts with your students is really down to your own ingenuity, but here are a few suggestions.
1 Find podcasts that relate to the topics in the coursebook your class is using and use them for extra listening practice in class.
2 We’ve already seen how podcasts offer the opportunity for real ‘mobile learning’ and your students can listen to recordings at a time and place that suits them, so podcasts can be ideal for self-directed learning. Add a (printable) worksheet for a task-based activity for your students to use before, while and/or after listening. Does the podcast feature particular vocabulary or grammar points you want to focus on? Why not include links to websites that offer practice in those areas of language for students to work on before or after they listen.
3 Ask students to take turns to write a review of a podcast to be placed in the self-access centre. They could work to a template like this:
- Topic
- Type of English (British/American/Australian/etc)
- Useful vocabulary
- My review
4 Get students to transcribe (sections of) a podcast they’ve found. This gives great listening practice and is good for vocabulary or grammar development. Students can create cloze exercises taken from sections of the podcast and give them to other students to complete.
5 Use podcasts as the basis for project work. Get the students to find a podcast that interests them and to use it as part of their project presentation or as input for a piece of written work.
6 For advanced learners use podcasts as an exercise in register. Students listen to topics covered in more informal conversational style and then re-write the content in the form of a semi-formal article or formal report.
7 Finally, there are all the possibilities that emerge with podcasts generated by your own students, which we’ll be looking at in the next issue of ETp.

And that’s about all you need to know to become an efficient consumer of podcasts. To sum up what we’ve said:
- They’re very flexible to use.
-? They offer a way of subscribing to new content.
- There are lots of them.
- They’re easy to make.
- They’ll make an enormous addition to your teaching resources and teaching tools.

In the next issue: How to make your own podcasts.

Peter Travis is the co-founder of Flo-Joe, a website for Cambridge Exam preparation. He also manages the Splendid Speaking website at www.splendid-speaking.com, which features podcasts of students participating in exam-style interviews.

Page 1: What are podcasts and why use them
Page 2: Finding and listening to them
Page 3: Using them with your students