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The use of Podcasts for developin listening and speaking skills for ELLs


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The use of podcasts for improving listening and speaking skills

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The use of Podcasts for developin listening and speaking skills for ELLs

  1. 1. The use of Podcasts for developing listening and speaking skills for ELLs Melani Cruz BLED 5040 Prof. Lopez
  2. 2. Objectives • Definition of podcast and its advantages • Podcasting in bilingual education • Motivation • Authentic listening materials • Enhancing Vocabulary • My reflection and conclusion on research
  3. 3. Introduction • Technology is a great tool for language learning. Teachers from all over the world are creating new ways to use technology in the classroom. • In the language classroom technology should be used inside and outside the classroom to help ELLs develop reading, writing, listening, and speaking in the new language.
  4. 4. Introduction • The most needed skills that ELLs need for everyday communication in the new language are listening and speaking. • “Among the skills, listening in learning a foreign and second language has not been given much attention in spite of being the most needed ability in everyday communication.” (Hasan & Boon, 2012) • In my research paper I discuss the use of Podcasts for developing listening and speaking skills amongst ELLs in the target language.
  5. 5. Defining podcasting and its advantages • Podcasts are audio programs on the web which are usually updated at regular intervals. • “The term podcast was first coined in 2004, and it means the publishing of audio materials via the Internet.” (Kavaliauskienė & Anusienė, 2009) • A podcast can be uploaded automatically to your computer using RSS (really simple syndication). Podcasts can cover a wide range of topics and can include music and video. • It can last anything upwards of a few minutes to an hour or more.
  6. 6. Defining podcasting and its advantages Mendelson, (1994), cited by Kavaliauskienė (2008), offers some techniques that enhance learning and help the listeners focus on any listening activity: 1) Listen for one crucial detail, 2) Listen for all the details, 3) Listen for the gist, 4) Listen for mood and atmosphere, 5) Listen to form hypotheses and make predictions, 6) Listen to make an inference.
  7. 7. Defining podcasting and its advantages According to Constantine (2007) the advantages of podcasts are: 1) learners can benefit from global listening, even if they only listen from three to five minutes a day; 2) students will be exposed to the new language; 3) the intermediate learner has a need for authentic texts and to be exposed to a variety of voices.
  8. 8. Podcasting in Bilingual Education • Podcasts can be used in many different ways in education. • Podcasting is considered to be a part of m-Learning. • Tynan and Colbarn (2006), cited by McMinn (2008), identify m-Learning as “a different form of eLearning, as it takes the learner away from a fixed point and ‘respects that a user would like to interact with educational resources whilst away from a normal place of learning classroom or computer’” • Podcasting goes beyond the classroom, making it mobile. Teachers are able to increase the time students practice the new language.
  9. 9. Podcasting in Bilingual Education Mobile learing is: Any activity that allows individuals to be more productive when consuming, interacting with, or creating information, mediated through a compact digital portable device that the individual carries on a regular basis, has reliable connectivity, and fits in a pocket or purse (
  10. 10. Podcasting in Bilingual Education Mobile technology influences the following components of learning and teaching process • Access to materials: A person hear a podcast anywhere and anytime with a portable device • Interaction: Interaction by means of voice mail and email, SMS, videoconference and social networks • Presentation: Microblogs, Twitter Course casts )
  11. 11. Podcasting in Bilingual Education • Language teachers can create new ways for encouraging students to practice their language skills outside of the classroom “through the use of four types of podcasts: ESL podcasts, native-English podcasts, and podcasts focusing on test preparation and student produced podcasts.” (McMinn, 2008) • The purpose for ESL podcasts is to teach ELLs the language through audio lessons.
  12. 12. What does research say? • After much research I found that podcasting aligns greatly with Vygotsky. • He believed that students learned through the process of socialization and that language is a tool for social interaction. Podcasting is process of socialization between the publisher(s) and audience. • It is through this socialization process that students develop listening and speaking skills.
  13. 13. Authentic Listening Materials • Choosing authentic listening material for ELLs is very important. • Authentic listening material is made specifically for ELLs • “Authenticity may be present in the following way: the language is as natural as possible, items are contextualized rather than isolated topics are meaningful (relevant and interesting for the learners), tasks represent real-world tasks.” (Kavaliauskienė, 2008).
  14. 14. Authentic Listening Materials • There are a lot of podcasts online that are great for authentic language learning. • “Podcasts are popular for their authentic listening program prepared by the proficient speakers and are extremely helpful for the learners to produce the natural speech as by the native speakers.” (Jain & Hashmi, 2013)
  15. 15. Enhancing Vocabulary • Leaning new vocabulary is very important for ELLs. For ELLs to become proficient in the new langauge they need a large vocabulary. • “Since vocabulary is so essential to comprehension, using technology as an instruction aid to help students retain vocabulary seemed like it would be a very motivating activity for … teachers developing the podcasts and the … students who would use the podcasts.” (Borgia, 2009)
  16. 16. Enhancing Vocabulary • Borgia (2009) carried out a study with her fifth grade ELLs. She used enhanced vocabulary podcasts with her fifth graders. • “The data gathered from both classrooms showed elementary student growth on the novel vocabulary that was reinforced during podcast activities.” (Borgia, 2009) • Borgia concluded from her study that podcasts for “reinforcing vocabulary offer promise as a literacy instructional aid.”
  17. 17. Motivation • Sometimes teachers find it difficult to keep students motivated. “Student motivation is difficult to measure, manage, initiate, and control.” (Goodson & Skillen, 2010) • Learning a new language isn’t easy and may cause frustration, which is why it is so important to keep ELLs motivated. • “Using podcasts as a medium to help students learn English is beneficial since student motivation can be enhanced.” (Ching Li, 2010).
  18. 18. Motivation • Goodson and Skillen (2010) believe that students are motivated to do a good job if they know that their work is going to be published. • Students can publish their podcasts on the internet for a global audience. • “Asking students to publish their work, which can be done in a variety of ways (including orally presenting work to the rest of a class), is one way to increase student motivation.” (Goodson & Skillen, 2010).
  19. 19. Motivation • O-Bryan and Hegelheimer (2007) also suggest that podcasting has the potential for creating intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in students. • Stanley (2005) suggests that students who produce podcasts for assessed tasks “will probably take more care with the preparation, knowing that it could be potentially listened to by people all over the world.
  20. 20. Motivation • Students love to publish and listen to podcasts about topics that interest them. • “Podcasting is especially interesting for English learners as it provides a means for students to get access to ‘authentic’ listening sources about almost any subject that may interest them.” (Kavaliauskienė, 2008) • Students can listen to their classmate’s work or listen to podcast made by a student in India or Japan.
  21. 21. Motivation • Teachers often make mistakes when creating podcasts for their ELLs that can make them lose interest. Weinberg, Knoerr and Vandergrift (2011) carried out a study where one of their goals was to determine the enjoyment of students using podcasts for academic listening in French. • “Weekly questionnaires showed that most of the students enjoyed the podcasts and found them moderately useful, although some contradictions emerged” (Weinberg, Knoerr and Vandergrift, 2011)
  22. 22. Motivation • Many students didn’t like the way the podcasts were presented. • “They did not like the plain format of the podcasts and commented that the presenters read their script, were monotonous, boring, and unenthusiastic about the topic discussed.” (Weinber Knoerr and Vandergrift, 2011) • According to the students the podcasts were repetitious and not interesting.
  23. 23. Motivation It is important that when creating a podcast for ELLs, teachers make the podcasts presentable. From research I have found common mistakes teachers make when creating a podcast: 1) talking to fast, 2) assume users know more than they actually do, 3) wander making it too hard to follow, 4) being monotone, 5) being repetitious and boring.
  24. 24. Reflection My goal was to research the use of podcasts for developing listening and speaking skills for ELLs. After reading and reviewing academic articles I learned that podcasts are a great tool for English language teachers. Many of the authors concluded that podcasts are great for enhancing listening and speaking skills.
  25. 25. Conclusion Before this class, I had little experience with podcasting. I have listened to podcasts from other professors in the past but never had I ventured out to make my own until this class. I had a great experience producing my podcast and now realize the importance of podcasting. After doing my research it is evident that students, teachers, and professors all benefit from this great use of technology. As and future teacher my plan is to continue working with podcasting and getting more familiar with all the aspects that go into making them so when I do become a teacher, I can be well prepared and use them in my classroom. As a result of reading the articles, they helped me get more of an understanding as to why teachers need to keep up with the changing times and new technology.
  26. 26. Conclusion I conclude that using podcasts in an ELL classroom does help students develop listening and speaking skills. Podcasts makes learning more accessible and it’s inexpensive. It can be used inside and outside of the classroom. Podcasts create a learning environment that extends well outside the boundaries of the classroom. I believe that podcasts also helps students engage more with their community and peers.