We mention podcasting in the following section of the ICT4LT website:
Section 3.5.2 of Module 2.3, Exploiting World Wide Web resources online and offlineThere is also an entry in the ICT4LT Glossary:http://www.ict4lt.org/en/en_glossary.htm
My personal view about podcasting in the context of language learning and teaching is broadly in line with the view expressed by one of the contributors to the above wiki, namely that it’s a very efficient way of making digital sound recordings and distributing them to learners and teachers, but that we also need to take another look at audio learning.
As I pointed out in the above wiki, in the end a podcast is just a recording. It's the delivery medium that makes it different. Recordings live or die according to (1) the quality of their content, (2) what you do with them.
Simply making podcasts available to language students is not effective per se. Thinking back to my days as a language centre director, we had a similar experience when satellite TV first became available. "Wow! What a great resource!" we thought. But students, left to their own devices, did not get a lot out of watching TV. So we introduced generic worksheets into the satellite TV viewing room. We had one for recordings of news broadcasts. It was just one sheet of A4, which the students filled in and handed in to language centre staff. On the sheet were a few simple tasks, such as:
- Write down the headlines of the main news items that you viewed in the broadcast.
- Write down 10 new words or phrases that you learned. (Students usually borrowed a dictionary from the language centre at the same time as they borrowed the video recording, so they could look up new words and phrases.)
- Write down a summary of the news item that interested you most and why.