Friday, April 12, 2013

ESL Podcasting!

Hello everyone!
As many others have done, I often engage in listening to podcasts. In order to learn Korean, I listened to the podcasts provided by the website Talk To Me In Korean. As an L1 English speaker, broadening my linguistic horizons through the Korean language was very successful due to the podcasts I continuously listen to. The same can be said about ESL podcasts; English language learners may use English language learning podcasts as supplements in their everyday learning. On the website ESL Pod, there were several podcasts that included several scenarios in which English language learners may encounter and it featured learning guides, blogs, pages for teachers, and a listing of scenarios for English language learners to listen to. Two podcasts that caught my eye in particular were the scenarios, "Shopping at the Supermarket" and "Passing Through Airport Security". These caught my mind because I kept in mind the many international friends I've made, who had to deal with several things at the points in which their English speaking abilities were not at their best. 
The first scenario mentioned, "Shopping at the Supermarket" can be applied in the classroom for English language learners of varying grades. For learners who may have come with their families or are shopping alone, understanding key words, such as the different foods that may be in the supermarket, or words used in markets such as "aisle" or "brand", would be important. Although some of the vocabulary used in these podcasts are somewhat lengthy and advanced, the podcasts themselves can be applied to ESL classrooms. In terms of the second scenario, I understand that many English language learners who go to school or work in English speaking countries may encounter issues in passing through airport security. At times they may take longer to get through due to limited capabilities in speaking English or the airport may not have staff that can communicate with them in their L1. The podcasts feature every day words and speech patterns that English language learners can adapt to and adopt in their linguistic capability. 
Learning about both the everyday speech patterns of a certain culture as well as achieving an increase in vocabulary is included in most language learning podcasts. They also serve as a great supplement for classrooms and can be used for homework. In my classroom, I would use these two particular podcasts to raise questions to my English language learners on what they would ask or say if they were in those particular situations. An assignment I'd make in particular would be to listen to these podcasts, point out any words or structures they do or do not understand and to make a podcast of their own in response to these podcasts. 
Podcasts serve as a new way of communicating and learning; with that, although as teachers we come from a traditionally structured system, we are at a point where we have more resources coming to us that school systems themselves may not be able to provide on their own. Let's embrace these new waves of learning that come our way in order to positively reinforce English language learning on our students!

Have a great day everyone!


  1. Your post shows that your own past good experience using podcasts will serve you well in choosing podcasts for your future students.

  2. Podcasts are a great resource to spark dialogue among students and to integrate technology with content learned in class.