Before this blog my knowledge of Podcast was limited to listening to some music that I like and hearing from my friends some comedians and various other Podcast that they were listening to. So before I tried my hand at creating a Podcast I did a quick perusal of some educational material available for the students I am tutoring. There seems to be mountains of ESL programming available on every tool that we study and Podcast is no exception. The first ESL podcast I subscribed to is titled simply ESL Podcast. This is an American site that has free audio recordings on a multiple of topics and everyday situations. The Podcast is well spoken and well pronounced. They highlight different terms and expressions that may be difficult for students. The accompanying study guides cost 10 dollars a month to access with a basic account. However, I believe that it would be easy enough for instructors to create a study guide based on any particular Podcast.
The second was ESL Library.com at http://www.esl-library.com/ . This was another American site with many Podcast episodes for English language learners. Their Podcast was helpful but not as instructional as the first site that I visited. The site also wanted you to sign up. The package recommended for teacher cost $33 dollars for six months, but promised for lesson plans and activities for ESL students. There slogan was honestly, “We make lesson plans so you don’t have to”. Trying to tickle the lazy teacher bone I see. The podcast portion was free like the other site.
The final ESL blog that I explored was ESL Teacher Talk. These Podcasts were created by two veteran ESL teachers for other ESL teacher’s. The one blog that I listened to just seemed to be two teachers chatted aimlessly. However the sight did have some links to interesting materials. The website: http://www.eslteachertalk.com/ did appear to have some links to useful information.
The next Podcast that I listened to was created by Graduate Librarianship students at the University of San Jose called Web 2.0 Tools. I thought that I would check out one that was video. The Podcast was on Google sites, which is a web page sharing application of Google. It looks very simple to use and very much like a Wiki. In my next Blog I will determine if it is or it is not a Wiki. The class seemed similar to ours; an exploration of Web 2.0 Tools, but they those to Podcast instead of Blog on their findings.
Creating a Podcast
The first thing I did was watch a YouTube video on the creation of a Podcast.
As recommended I downloaded Audacity and the additional download to create an MP3. For tips on the correct usage of Audacity I referred to their wiki at: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Audacity_Wiki_Home_Page
After going through the various ESL Podcasting instructional aids I was curious if through the combination of Podcasting and Wiki technology I could create an effective tool for my current ESL tutee that could be adapted for the classroom down the road. I think that listening to a Podcast is a good learning tool but creating and listening to one’s own voice back could be a vital tool to improve confidence and pronunciation. It also allows students to speak aloud without the pressure of an audience and instantly send it to an instructor who could give prompt feedback. I created a podcast that quickly introduces an assignment that instructs a student to record their own voice describing a song that they like.