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Using ELT podcasts to enhance students’ listening and speaking skills Paul Sze Dept of Curriculum & Instruction CUHK “Blogging is so last year, now podcasting is hot now.” Title of a journal article published in Nov., 2005 “Podcasting”: the 2005 word of the year

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using elt podcasts to enhance students listening and speaking skills

Using ELT podcasts to enhance students’ listening and speaking skills

Paul Sze

Dept of Curriculum & Instruction


blogging is so last year now podcasting is hot now

“Blogging is so last year, now podcasting is hot now.”

Title of a journal article published in Nov., 2005

podcasting the 2005 word of the year

“Podcasting”: the 2005 word of the year

The New Oxford American Dictionary

map of seminar
Map of Seminar
  • Podcasting
    • What are podcast?
    • How to subscribe to podcasts.
    • How to create your own podcasts.
  • ELT podcasts
    • Content of ELT podcasts
    • Activities with ELT podcasts
    • A CUHK podcasting project
a teacher experience with podcasts
A teacher’ experience with podcasts

“I have been having my students make their own podcasts lately (their writing assignment is to explain the process!) and it has been going

really well. Students are fascinated and highly motivated. They are working in heterogeneous groups, which requires that they use English

to negotiate and plan and create…”

  • >Anthea Tillyer (from a TESLCA-L message)
what are podcasts
What are podcasts?
  • Podcasts are audio (sometimes video) programmes on the Web which are usually updated at regular intervals.
  • New episodes can be listened to on the computer, or downloaded to an MP3 player or iPod for later listening.
  • They can be ‘subscribed to’ so that (a) you will be alerted to new episodes available, (b) new episodes will be downloaded to your computer automatically.
two types of podcasts
Two Types of Podcasts
  • “Radio podcasts”: Podcasts based on radio programmes produced by radio broadcasting corporations, e.g., BBC, RTHK
  • “Independent” podcasts: Web-based podcasts produced by individuals and organisations.
examples of radio podcasts
Examples of ‘Radio Podcasts’
examples of independent podcasts
Examples of ‘independent’ podcasts
examples of podcast directories

Examples of Podcast Directories

two ways to subscribe to a podcast
Two ways to subscribe to a podcast
  • Get notification of new episodes through ‘Web-based podcatchers’, e.g., My Yahoo; Podnova; Newsgator. (You need to sign up to these sites first.)
  • Subscribe to podcasts through “Destop podcatchers” and have new episodes downloaded to your computer automatically; e.g., iTunes; Juice. (You need to download and install the software first.)
demonstration 3 ways to subscribe to just vocabulary
Demonstration: 3 ways to subscribe to “Just Vocabulary”
    • 1. Getting ‘alerts’ in ‘MyYahoo’: one-click subscription.
    • 2. Add to ‘iTunes”: one-click subscription.
    • 3. Copy and paste RSS feed into RSS reader.
  • Finding and subscribing to a podcast from iTunes
  • Looking for a podcast in a directory and subscribing to it:
listening while on the move
Listening while on the move
  • Download clips in your podcatcher to your mp3 player
  • Download clips in your podcatcher (eg, iTunes) to an iPod
download to mp3 player
Download to MP3 player
  • 1. Open “My Documents”.
  • 2. Open “My Music”.
  • 3. You will see a sub-folder named “iTunes”.
  • 4. The downloaded clips are all there.
download to ipod
Download to iPod
  • 1. Open iTunes
  • 2. Connect iPod to computer.
  • 3. The new episodes will download themselves automatically.
connecting ipod to projection equipment
Connecting iPod to projection equipment
  • iPod can be connected to projection equipment in classroom, and then audio and video clips can be played for listening and viewing.
teacher podcasts

Teacher Podcasts

Podcasts produced by a teacher for his/own students.


producing your own podcasts
Producing your own podcasts
  • Produce your own audio programmes in mp3 format: record into computer; record into mp3 player; convert cassette recording into mp3.
  • Upload your mp3 files to a/your website.
  • Create an RSS feed on the website for people to subscribe to. (There are sites that provide free software for creating RSS feed.)
  • Publicise your podcast; or submit your RSS feed to a podcast directory site (iTunes;; etc.)
software for producing sound recordings in mp3

Software for producing sound recordings in mp3

A free audio recorder and editor:

searching for elt podcasts
Searching for ELT podcasts
  • Look for ELT podcasts in
  • general podcast directories, e.g.,; podcast directory in iTunes
  • Directories of educational podcasts, eg.,
  • ELT Podcast directories, eg,
content of elt podcasts
Content of ELT podcasts
  • Comprehensive, eg.,
  • Whole lessons, eg.
  • Vocabulary, idioms, slang, etc.
  • Conversations with script, eg
content contd
Content, contd.
  • Jokes, eg.
  • Songs, eg.
  • Phonetics, pronunciation, eg.
  • Stories
  • Listening comprehension
improving ss listening skills through
Improving Ss’ listening skills through …
  • Intensive Listening: listening accompanied by while-listening and/or post-listening tasks
  • Extensive listening: listening for pleasure and for exposure to native speakers’ speech
student podcasts

Student Podcasts

A great way to improve students’ speaking skills

benefits of student podcasts
Benefits of Student Podcasts
  • Motivation: a real audience out there
  • Perfection through practice/rehearsal
  • Collaboration through group podcasts
  • Attention to accuracy: permanent record of performance
  • Mixed-ability teaching: different tasks for different ability levels
  • Large-class teaching: everyone has a chance
  • Less confident SS: ‘behind-the-scenes’ performance
examples of student podcasts

Examples of Student Podcasts

activities for student podcasts
Reading aloud

SS give their thoughts on topic assigned by teacher

SS listen to classmates’ thoughts and respond

Oral Diary; oral weekly report

Group presentations on a completed project

Oral book report

Picture description

Story telling

Chained story telling

Agony Aunt: giving advice

Creating riddles

Role play


Dramatic monologues

Radio Drama

Jazz chants

ELT rap

Activities for Student Podcasts
creating class podcasts
Creating Class Podcasts
  • (Place class podcasts on school’s homepage.)
  • Start a blog that also hosts podcasts for the class, eg.
  • Create an account for whole class with a free podcasting site, eg,
  • Have class share the same username and password.
  • SS upload their mp3 files to class podcast on their own.
  • Design activities that encourage SS to respond to each other.
reaching out to more audiences

Reaching out to more audiences:

Inter- class/school/country podcasting projects

an appeal from an esl teacher
An appeal from an ESL teacher
  • I've been experimenting with podcasting and my students have recorded some questions about food, culture, body language, geography, animals, sports, habits, religion. The initial idea was to interview students in any English speaking country, but we are open to anyone interested in participating. We'll probably have some students in Australia (ESL) , Argentina and Brazil involved. You can see the podcast here: Any help would be appreciated, thanks! Fernanda
elt rap what is it

ELT Rap: What is it?

Rap adapted/written for ELT purposes.

elt rap attributes
ELT rap: Attributes
  • Like conventional raps, ELT raps have rich linguistic content.
  • They are highly rhythmical.
  • They can be said purely for fun.
  • They can also allow secondary students to express their thoughts and feelings about society, life, friendship, etc.
why elt rap
Why ELT rap
  • Rap appeals to teenagers.
  • ELT raps improve pronunciation through repetition.
  • They stimulate creativity.
  • They encourage self-expression.
why radio drama
Why radio drama
  • A great way to practise pronunciation, especially intonation.
  • It develops SS’ collaboration skills. The process is fun.
  • The number of SS involved is flexible.
  • It caters for mixed ability classes.
  • Producing a high-quality radio play is EASY with the advent of mp3, audio recording software, and easily available special effect sound clips.
  • Motivating: audiences afforded by Internet and podcasting.