February 25, 2021

Podcasting or listening to podcasts?

Podcasting is a difficult task. This is the idea everyone gets when going through the experience of podcasting, all that scripting, audio recording, hours of editing of the material to get a 10-minute audio. As a teacher, I like to challenge my students, to create new content and express their ideas and thoughts in any way possible. A combination of my teaching philosophy and obsession with tech would likely result in me having my students go through the experience of podcasting, but somehow I’m inclined to avoid this task.

I’m impatient and that personality trait extends into my teaching as well, so long-term tasks are not what I usually go for, unless the students need it to achieve better results. But with podcasting, I don’t necessarily think the goals are the priority, but rather the experience.
Sure, students learn most the material along the way, while scripting for the podcast, communicating in a group project and interacting using the target language, yet the task requires more than target language practice to be dealt with.
Students would need to learn how to use the software, spend a lot of time perfecting their recordings to make them presentable and would also need to come up with topics, situations and so on. All of these can be achieved in a more academic manner, through collaborative writing or single presentations.
On the other hand, listening to podcasts is a task I make sure I always have my syllabus full of, both as a homework task and in-class activity. Podcast listening can be done with students of any level, if you find the right podcast, of course. The channel would also need to match with the student’s interests, as in that case they are obviously more likely to listen to the podcast attentively and grab something from it, both language and content.