A podcast is a type of digital media consisting of an episodic series of audio, radio, or video files. It could be subscribed to and downloaded through web to a computer or a mobile device. As has been mentioned by Cassinelli, C in the video Integrating Podcasting into Your Classroom , “our students today are digital natives”. In order to provide the best learning experiences to our students, educators today should update our instruction methods. Podcast is a very effective classroom instruction tool.
Take the ESL podcast for example, it provides English learners with stories embedded with useful vocabularies. Both the script and voice explanation for each story are available so that readers could better understand the key ideas of each story. This could be a great supplement for ESL classroom teaching.
Take episode 12 Dining at a restaurant for example, the story details the process of dining at a restaurant: how does the waiter greet you, how do you respond to the waiter and so on. Almost everything one needs to know about restaurant conversation is listed and explained in the corresponding radio. This makes it perfect for oral English classes. Teachers could set one topic each time and use the podcast as a supplementary material. For example, if today's topic is dining out, teachers could have students listen to this exact episode and then have students discuss the key phrases used in the conversation. After that, role play could be carried out so that students could have a chance to practive what they have just learned.