Podcasting with ELL Students

Hello All,

I writing to find out if any educators here have experience creating a podcast with their ELL students.

Recently I worked with a High Intermediate-Advanced ELL group to do a project creating a home remedy video where students practiced sequencing language, the language of advice, introductions and conclusions and also learned about good video making practices to create a video on how to make a home remedy to treat a minor health issue of their choice. The videos turned out so well! The students were extremely proud of themselves and each other. When we debriefed about doing the activity after screening all the students' videos, students mentioned wanting to do more projects like this and one student suggested we try to make a podcast next. Other students agreed.

Most recently, we have done another unit around health, specifically related to the pandemic and also dealing some with mental and emotional health (anxiety, depression), so we talked about doing a podcast around students offering suggestions for how to managing stress and sadness during this time. 

My big questions are: who else has done this? What was your experience like? What software did you use? Any suggestions for facilitating group work like this, especially virtually or at a distance (we're all online still)? I'm wondering how to guide them through interacting with each other and editing together their responses all into 1 collaborative recording.

Thanks for any ideas, suggestions or resources you might have!





Hi Sara,

One of the the presentations at our Technology and Distance Learning Symposium last year was On the Air: Using and Creating Podcasts in the ESL Classroom. Here is the link to the recording: https://otan.us/video-presentations/tdls/tdls-2020-on-the-air-using-and-creating-podcasts-in-the-esl-classroom/

Let me know if you need more info about the presentation.

Anthony Burik, OTAN

Good evening, Sara! 

This is a wonderful wrap up of my day seeing your post! It is a great idea! 

I started "My American Dream" podcast as a result of living my American Dream and then it turned into a great platform of sharing motivational stories of overcoming and building.

While working with my Advanced ESL students, College and Career Ready and Citizenship, I thought that inviting them to share their stories will achieve many linguistic goals and sharing the episodes will be a great listening practice. And sure enough, after some negotiations and looking at a bigger picture, some were willing to share their stories and you should see their happy faces after going through all that anxiety and lost of words. They could not be more proud of themselves and glad taking this opportunity of overcoming their fears and gaining confidence. 

While this project being global and more individualized, yours is in the education setup and I can see how you could choose a volunteer - reporter/moderator, who would interview the team for a certain topic and it can be for 20 min only as an intro or wrap up of your class. I would do the editing myself and follow up with the class. 

I would also think about the goal of the podcast - do you want to publish it for your group on GOOGLE Classroom (for example), where they could revisit and listen to it again or you want to make available for a program, or general public. 

I think "Anchor" would be a good place to start if it is a free audio podcast. 

I will be happy to talk more about it and encourage you for doing it! It is that element of the real world that they need. 

Best, Anya