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Student-authored podcasting in the EFL Classroom. - A reflection on the need for overt consideration of the pedagogical and social purposes of integrating student-authored podcasting in the EFL syllabus. Kristen Sullivan (Shimonoseki City University)

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Student authored podcasting in the efl classroom

Student-authored podcasting in the EFL Classroom

- A reflection on the need for overt consideration of the pedagogical and social purposes of integrating student-authored podcasting in the EFL syllabus

Kristen Sullivan (Shimonoseki City University)

UNTELE2007, 29th March 2007

What is a podcast
What is a podcast?

  • A hybrid of ipod and broadcasting

  • Online audio (and video) content marked by the incorporation of RSS feeding allowing users to subscribe to podcasts and have them automatically downloaded to their PCs and mp3 players.

  • Is this distinction necessary for educational podcasting?

Pedagogical possibilities of podcasting why podcasting in efl
Pedagogical Possibilities of Podcasting - Why Podcasting in EFL?

  • Listening

    • Listening skills:

      • authentic texts: World Englishes, various dialects, natural speed

      • educational podcasts

    • Content: cultural understanding, real time information, autonomy-building

  • Production

    • Oral skills

    • Cross-cultural awareness and understanding through podcast exchanges

Podcast production stages where learning practice can potentially occur
Podcast Production: stages where learning/practice can potentially occur

planning/ recording editing broadcasting listening responding/

rehearsal feedback


Message of this presentation
Message of this Presentation potentially occur

  • Introducing technology into the classroom doesn’t automatically equal an increase in motivation.

  • We need to make pedagogical considerations the focus behind the decision to use podcasting in EFL situations (=integrate podcasting into the syllabus).

  • These pedagogical decisions should shape the types of activities, frequency of recordings and broadcastings, group formations, etc, that we use.

  • Be fully aware of the (social/pedagogical) needs of the particular student group in question and be willing to adapt to these needs as identified throughout the life of the project.

The project 1 motivation behind the original class
The Project (1) potentially occur- Motivation behind the original class

Case Study 1 (October 2005 – February 2006)

Purpose: To address issues of off-taskness and lack of (extended) use of the target language in class.


  • Hypothesized that podcasting and group project work may be exploited to develop motivation amongst students ( on-taskness  increased use of the target language)

  • Project work: authentic & purposeful use of the target language

  • Podcasting: new, fun and interesting medium

    Structure of the project: long term, fixed group project culminating at the end of the semester.

The project 1 a success
The Project (1) potentially occur- A Success?

* Creative, original, authentic

* All reported the experience to be rewarding and enjoyable


* No significant increase in use of the target language

* More instances of being off-task

* Change in language skills?

* In class preparation – a waste of time?

* No major feedback on their spoken English during

the semester

* No major exchange at a class level

The project 1 student voices
The Project (1) potentially occur- Student Voices

  • Class level interaction

  • Inter-group collaboration

    (commented on by most students)

  • Too much Japanese when preparing

  • Less in-class preparation time

  • More non-podcast related activities

    (commented on by a few students)

Social Needs



Matched my observations and

reflections on the class

Teacher reflections on the project goals for project 2
Teacher reflections on the project/ potentially occurGoals for Project 2

  • Pedagogical activities

  • Increase chances of feedback = increase number of podcast recordings and broadcastings

  • Increase access to the recording technology

  • Multiple, unfixed group formations

    Goals for Class 2

     Use digital recording as a way to develop students’ consciousness of their spoken language and spoken communication:

    * capture spoken language allowing for review

    * provides a defined task – concentration, continued speaking

     Use podcasting as the vehicle for this:

    * the cycle of podcasting is pedagogically beneficial

    * meaningful and authentic

The project 2 student voices
The Project (2) potentially occur- Student Voices

  • Consciousness raising of spoken speech and pronunciation

  • Listening to own voice

  • Group work

  • Efficient Time

Lessons learnt
Lessons learnt potentially occur

 Using the technology in ways which will truly address the students language needs: short-term projects, numerous chances for feedback, focus on the message/interlanguage improvement over final product slickness.

 Giving students as much access to the technology as possible.

 Adequate time for preparation and recording

 Appropriate group formations

 Identify and adapt to other factors as they are identified throughout the life of the project.

References potentially occur

  • Debski, R. (2000) “Exploring the Recreation of a CALL Innovation”Computer Assisted Language Learning 13(4-5), pp. 307-332

  • Kaplan-Leiserson, E. (2005, June). Trend: Podcasting in Academic and Corporate Learning. Learning Circuits. Retrieved 28 February 2007, from

  • McCarty, Steve (2005) “Spoken Internet to go: popularization through Podcasting”JALT CALL Journal 11(2) pp.67-74

  • Rost, Michael. (2007) “Commentary: I’m only trying to help: A role for interventions in teaching listening”Language Learning & Technology 11(1): 102-108

  • Rost, Michael. “New Technologies in Language Education: Opportunities forProfessional Growth” :

  • Thorne, Steven L. and J. Scott Payne. (2005) “Evolutionary Trajectories, Internet-mediated Expression, and Language Education.”CALICO Journal 22(3) pp. 371-397

  • Warschauer, Mark. (1996) Computer-assisted language learning: An introduction. In, S. Fotos (Ed.) Multimedia Language Teaching (pp. 3-20). Tokyo: LogosInternational.