Saturday, March 17, 2007


Podcasts in the classroom

Two teachers from Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey, gave an informative, lively workshop on the use of podcasting in the language classroom at TESOL ARABIA last weekend.

“Podcasting,” according to the BBC, “is simply an automated form of MP3 downloading”, which helps a lot.

However, the two presenters quickly and clearly outlined the advantages of podcasting; URLs can be sent via pc to other users, without the need for lengthy downloading of files or giving students listening tapes or CDs.

With an iPod, the teacher can download extensive, often authentic listenings, real news broadcasts and debates from universities and then play them back in class as the basis for a project, for example, and since both visual and printed text are also quickly and easily available, podcasting looks like it’s here to stay – until the next gismo comes along at least.

Downloading iTunes enables teachers and students to gain access to a plethora of material that is both current and varied. Here are some of the podcasts teachers can exploit.

BBC – In our time (great for historical topics)
Living on Earth (covers environmental issues)
The New Scientist (excellent reports on science topics)
NPR: Books (interviews with authors – graded readers)
BBC Women’s Hour (interesting and varied topics on many different subject areas)
ESL Podcast (great tips for communicating)
ESL for TOEFL students (plenty of practice before those exams)
Podictionary (listening activities and vocabulary development)
English Banana (basics for beginners with lesson handouts
Bardwell Road Centre Podcast (podcasts for English students made by students)

NB: All the above can be found easily on Google.

For more anything more specific:- (a list of everything on BBC) (Search engine for podcasts)

Other Links

1. This link has both written directions and a video for how to install iTunes. The video also shows some of the basic features of iTunes.

2. This link has both written directions and a video for how to subscribe and listen to podcasts.

3. Sabancı University Podcast
Robert L. Fielding


At 6:13 AM , Blogger Erica said...

Hello Robert,

Thanks for putting a summary of our presentation on your blog. We are glad you found it so beneficial. :)

Ashley and I just wanted to add that an Ipod isn't necessary to use the podcasts in class. ITunes for that matter isn't really necessary. But, we did recommend iTunes because it is quite user-friendly. Podcasts can be played from a computer as well. So, if a teacher or students have laptops, they can download the podcasts (using iTunes or some other podcast agregator) and then listen with their headphones or with speakers.

Could we also recommend another podcast that we neglected to include in our presentation handout, Breaking News English, It has ready-made activities as well. :)

Happy podcasting,

Erica Hoffman,
& Ashley Hazell Yildirim

At 3:50 PM , Blogger podictionary said...

Hi Robert,
Thanks for mentioning podictionary in the past. Because you did I have an offer for you. Please contact me through
so I can tell you about it. Thanks, Charles


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