Souncloud for Podcasting in the EFL/ESL Classroom

Before I start talking about Podcasting, do you really know what is a podcast? Just googling around you can find thousands of definitions but the best is the one from the iTunes website that says:

Podcasts are episodes of a program available on the Internet. Podcasts are usually original audio or video recordings, but can also be recorded broadcasts of a television or radio program, a lecture, a performance, or other event.Podcasts usually offer each episode in the same file format, such as audio or video, so that subscribers can enjoy the program the same way each time. Some podcasts, such as language courses, include multiple file formats, such as video and documents, to teach more effectively.

There is no doubt that Podcasts are very popular and incredibly useful for our teaching purposes, Apple offers an application to manage them on every iOS device and it is a very important section on iTunes, they add:

For podcast listeners, podcasts are a way to enjoy great content from around the world for free. For podcast publishers, podcasts are a great way to reach a wide audience.

So, there is a great possibility to explore as teachers and language learners.

In this occasion I am going to show you one application that it’s great to create your own content, manage it and share it:

Soundcloud

It is one of the best social sound platforms and lets you to record, store and share your sound to the most popular social networks or your blog, your recordings can be listened by your followers, friends or the ones that you allow because you can manage your privacy.

To create your content you need to create a free account at www.soundcloud.com

After that  you can update your profile, it is very simple. Then press the button to upload your previously recorded file or create a new one.

Upload or Record

Wait for the recording to be processed, meanwhile you can add some descriptions.

Add descriptions

You can make it public or private and even use the Creative Commons Licence to protect your creation.

Protect your content

Once it is ready just press save. There you are! you created the first of many podcasts.

Your personal page

Using the Mobile app is even simpler, just tap record and follow the steps.

Mobile Android App

The result is something like this (press Play to hear):

The possibility of adding comments to a specific part of the recording can be very useful when using it with your students, you can provide accurate feedback and motivate them to make it even better the next time, increasing students motivation and engagement.

You can also suggest them to follow the most popular ESL/EFL podcasts in the application (web or mobile), interact with the authors of the content and generate a social network that will help them to be more confident and learn according to their interests. This can also be done on iTunes but without the possibility to add comments.

Popular Podcasts

If you can generate your own content as a teacher you can also improve your communications skills and get a huge audience, which means new possibilities of continuing your professional development. If you are thinking of podcasts it is a very interesting possibility.

On the dark side the free account just allows you to upload 3 hours of sound and if you need more space you will have to pay a monthly or annual fee. Another disadvantage is the time necessary to create the recording you want to share in your channel, sometimes it will be very difficult to find the right place and time to start recording, then editing and finally uploading your content, but once you master your abilities on it, you can reuse it anytime you want and just add some quick updates, so try not to give up and keep going on!

Sources: Souncloud – Apple iTunes

Gallery: Imgur

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3 thoughts on “Souncloud for Podcasting in the EFL/ESL Classroom

  1. Since we are dealing with different types of feedback, I’m sure soundcloud can be a great tool to use. I wonder if anybody has already used it to get/give feedback to peers or students. Thanks.

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  2. This seems to be a very interesting tool. However, I cannot think of a specific task I could use it for. HAve you used it in your classes? How? Any thoughts?

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  3. Brilliant Blog. However, in my own view the best remark is by far the one concerning CPD. Just by reading this blog, I could see the added value that derives from the mirroring process of the teacher who tries to give feedback or develop some content. I can just picture myself making mistakes, loosing my words and generally ending up using (after many tries): graded language, friendly clear words, calm and assertive tone of voice, short and to the point constructive points that go deep and narrow. Things in other words that written discourse/feedback can’t convey accurately or to be a bit more fair, are subject to misinterpretation by the learners. So yes. I guess it is something that can profit all involved parties because it is primarily communicative, contextual -due to relevance with technology, motivating because it is something new and different, multi-modal, individualistic and yet it is based on sound theories such as Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development. What more can we ask really? Maybe more than 3 hours of storage!!! – I can just imagine myself filling this up in less than a month if I start making full use of its potential – so again, well spotted!

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