"Explorations in Podcasting"Mtra. Ma. Elena Delgado Ponce de LeónMtra. Marsella Robles Mier y TeránMayo, 2013
What is a podcast?What is not a podcast?Why podcasting?Sample activitiesContent
Learning a language is more than exploring factsabout the way language is organized, it is aboutacquiring the skill to express and communicate.Communication has always been a strong motivator inhuman beings. We want to share ideas, listen to othersand comment.Podcasting allows teachers and students to carry outthis exchange of ideas with the advantages of choosingcontent and having portability (as they can bedownloaded and listened to on the go) . Thus, creatingpodcasts provides the ingredients to practice speakingin a pleasurable way.Introduction
• An audio file in mp3 format published on internet• It can be downloaded and listened to anytimeanywhere• It is published regularly• it has a name, a slogan, a music that identifies it• there is a host who states the purpose of thepodcast, it can include interviews with one or morespeakers.• It is similar to a radio programWhat is a podcast?
Audio files published on a blog or websitewhere students practice a dialogue or tell astory.They have no real communicative purpose.They constitute a practice speaking task topromote learning.What is not a podcast
Learning a language is about communication :We want to share ideas, listen to others and comment.Podcasting allows students to communicate ideas whileproviding an ideal tool to assess their performance ascommunication messages are kept in files.It engages students in an intensive oral practicenecessary to achieve a fair degree of fluency in theproduction of the message.It is a flexible tool as it can be downloaded and listened toon the go.Why podcasting?
Podcasting is strongly connected to an authenticcontext as students have to select language accordingto their topic, register, intended audience andcommunicative function.It helps students organize their ideas in a meaningfuland logical sequence paying attention to the features ofnatural speech like stress, pauses, and fluency.Why podcasting?
Where we startedAudioboo. It is a web tool that allows recording and publishing of audiofiles. Files can be complemented with a photo and text. It has a socialnetwork component as it allows users to follow and share their audios.English 509 students subscribed to podcasts on different topicsdownloading episodes on a regular basis. This helped highlight in apractical and concrete situation the features of a podcast. Studentslearned that podcasts usually have a tune that identifies the series, aslogan, podcasts can incorporate background music and sound effects.Students evaluated the podcasts they listened to focusing on theorganization of the ideas, clarity, type of information, number ofparticipants (monologues, interviews), creativity, etc.Activities.Ma. Elena´s Group 509 Number ofstudents= 32 level A1+Ma. Elena´s Group 509 Number ofstudents= 32 level A1+
Then,they created an account. Audioboo allows users to record andpublish an audiofile creating a web page and the RSS feed toautomatically download the episodes from iTunes.They shared their Audioboo webpage with the rest of the class andbecame followers of other classmates. When working with theirpodcasts it became obvious that students had crossed theboundaries between formal learning inside the classroom andinformal learning outside the classroom. The engagement andcreativity displayed was the result of continuous learning .Use of tools ( e.g google translator to get a pronunciation model)Audioboo
Students were assigned 11 simple questions.Each podcast was kept to approximately 1 to 2 minutes to ensurea sustained engagement from the listeners.The questions had been taken from a website called Plinky whereusers answer questions and share their answers. Thus, thesuggested scaffolding for this task included reading the answersgiven by native speakers to those same questions to spot thevocabulary, structures and expressions they could use in theirown answers.What they talked about in their podcasts
Here are the 11 questions:Here are the 11 questions:Here are the 11 questions:Here are the 11 questions:Here are the 11 questions:Here are the 11 questions:Here are the 11 questions:Here are the 11 questions:Here are the 11 questions:1. Describe your ideal job — where would you work? What would you do?2. Recall your very first day of school. How did you feel?3. What song, when you hear it, transports you back in time? What time inyour life does it transport you to? Describe thattime in your life in detail.4.If you were a mad scientist and could create a cure for any disease, which dise
5. Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not?6.What is your worst quality as a human? Describe it in detail, and why you think7.If you could have one superpower, what superpower would you choose? Why?8. Which food, when you eat it, instantly transports you to childhood?9. If you were able to clone yourself, how would you divide your duties?10.Go back in time to an event you think could have played out differently for you.11. When was the last time you felt really, truly lonely?
The task was developed over a period of 4 weeks.There was one session at the computer lab to guide them inAudioboo and solve questions.Students had two weeks to upload their recordings. In themeantime some would take their scripts to class to be checked,others preferred to share a google document with me asking to becorrected and still others decided to use the google translator kitand get a model on pronunciation.For the recording some used the recording option provided inAudioboo and others recorded on their computers and edited theirfiles to add music or sound effects.Length of the activity
When the deadline was met, groups were formed to listen to theirrecordings and select the best answer in their groups.Four criteria were given; they had to select:the most creative answer,the one with the best pronunciation,the best background music or sound effects, andthe most touching and emotional content.In a class session, we all listened to the winners podcasts in eachgroup.Sharing and networking
To what extent do students believe their language learning is enhanced by the useof these technologies?These are some of the comments they wrote at the end of the course:¨Me costaron mucho trabajo, me ayudé con el traductor para la pronunciación perofue muy lindo hacerlos¨.¨Hacer estos audios fue mi actividad favorita, me hubiera gustado hacer másaudios en el transcurso del año.Ësta actividad me gustó mucho, pues era divertido planear tu audiose interesanteescuchar los de mis compañeros¨¨Veía como lo contestaban en Plinky y después me ayudaba con el traductor.¨Me gusta platicar o narrar un suceso importante de mi vida y esta herramienta meayudó a expresarme.¨¨Para estructurar mis oraciones leía las ideas en Plinky y antes de grabar misideas me ayudaba con la pronunciación del traductor de google¨Me di cuenta que tenía que planear lo que iba a decir si quería que los demás meentendieran¨Students opinions:
Level: A1Level: A1Level: A1Level: A1Level: A1Where we startedI started with a Google Site in which I posted the task to my students. From there, they could haveaccess to a Google Doc where they had to post the URL of their work.
Google Site <https://sites.google.com/site/englishvmrsrobles2012
As a project for the Second Partial I asked them to do avideo or a podcast about Unit 2 of the Pilot Program. I toldthem they could do a video a podcast or a power pointusing the Audio tool Audacity, I posted a tutorial for usingthis.
Finally, for the Third Partial, I asked them to take part in thePodcast Congress, I shared the Call so they could knowthe requirements for their job.I shared with them the link: <https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vBGNvAIAqJRbFJIAEXPG>
This is an example of a podcast from the PodcastCongress about some themes of the Program of English5th.
Survey about the podcastsFor this activity I did a Survey about how did they like doingpodcasts, here they are the 10 questions and theiranswers. I posted the link in our group in Facebook so theycould do it online. <https://docs.google.com/forms/d/17xB4JMf9xXBpHwGVITebzsm>
Here they are their answers. <https://docs.google.com/forms/d/17xB4JMf9xXBpHwGVITebzsm>
I told them to post the URL of their work in the Google Docand also in their blogs, the recording as well as the script.
ConclusionsPodcasting has become a major feature of today´s societyand has emerged as a means for supporting learning inforeign language teaching. It is an interactive medium ofcommunication which teenagers greatly enjoy. It helps tobuild on whatever language resources they alreadypossess.
ReferencesCampbell, G, (2005) Podcasting in Education [online]. EDUCAUSE,Nov/Dec 05. Available from:http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ERM0561.pdf (Accessed 27 April2013).Dunn, Jeff. (2010). The 35 Best web 2.0 Classroom tools chosen by you.Available from:http://edudemic.com/2010/07/the-35-best-web-2-0-classroom-tools-chosen-by-you/ (Accessed 27 April 2013).Huann, T. Y. and Thong, M.K. (2006) Audioblogging and Podcasting inEducation [online}. Edublog.net. Available from:http://edublog.net/astinus/mt/files/docs/Literature%20Review%20on%20audioblogging%20and%20podcasting.pdf [Accessed 21 April 2013].