Preparing something different: Podcasts

Hi Everyone!

Teachers are on holidays, which they most deserve! Yet, more likely than not teachers will take some time of their vacation time to prepare something different for their students.

With that in my mind, in this post I’d like to share with teachers some of the sites I have found on the Internet as I searched for sites with podcasts for my own students.

In these sites, teachers will find good quality podcasts on different topics and levels that can be used either as listening activities or as a self-access resource for students to listen at their own pace.

Internet Site Description
Daily ESL

Conversation starters for ESL students

The purpose of the site Daily ESL is to give students opportunities to build their communication through Conversation Starters, that is, readings that lead to natural communication. First, learners read about topics in everyday life (Part I, Reading), discuss the information with other partners (Part II, Discussion), and then examine a related topic using critical-thinking skills that are key to better communication including discussing cause and effect relationships, predicting outcomes, comparing and contrasting, and hypothesizing (Part III, Online Investigation). Students learn how to analyze information from different sources, including the Internet, to make informed life decisions that impact them now and in the future. Becoming a speaker of a language isn’t always enough; the goal for many is to become an educated speaker, and the questions on each page on this site is to encourage better communication, even starting with lower-level students.
Randall´s ESL Cyber Listening Lab

Podcasts with adults’ and children’s voices

The Randall´s ESL Cyber Listening Lab site was mainly designed for (1) self-access learning where students do the listening activities on their own, and (2) teacher-directed learning where the teacher asks students to complete certain exercises as a means of supplementing their classroom objectives. I should point out that the main objective isn’t to test listening, but to help students how to learn to improve their listening, and this goal can be accomplished in part by doing all of the activities in each conversation.

Communicative lesson plans and materials

The site esl-lounge gives free access to hundreds of ESL lesson plans and materials that can be used for communicative English lessons in the classroom. The emphasis on this site is on communication. Alongside the printable grammar worksheets, surveys, flashcards, reading comprehension and communication activities for each level, there are board games and song lyrics for teachers. A section is devoted to phonetics and the improvement of student pronunciation of English.


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Laura Miccoli

Laura Miccoli is a professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais and a researcher, consultant, and founder of Transforma Educacional – a social business to develop teachers professionally. She has authored “Ensino e Aprendizagem de Inglês: experiências, desafios e possibilidades” and “Aproximando Teoria e Prática para Professores de Línguas Estrangeiras”.

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