Volume 2, Number 2

Your FREE Monthly ESL Newsletter

February 2006

Podcasting and English Learning


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Your ESL All Editors: 

Christine Lepine

Paola Di Muzio


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Dear ESL All subscribers from all around the world,

Here's the February issue of our monthly newsletter this time dealing with the use of podcasting to improve your English learning.

What is podcasting?

Podcasting is a way of recording and publishing a non-music audio broadcast (news, ESL lesson, discussion, etc.) via the Internet mainly in the MP3 format for playback in a digital music player). These non-music audio broadcasts are called “podcasts” and users can automatically download them (usually mp3 files) onto their computers and transfer these recordings automatically to portable music players such as iPods or other portable MP3 players. Users can also burn these files on blank CDs and listen to them as they would with any other audio files such as songs. Students of English can then listen to these files anytime and anywhere they choose. What makes podcasting so interesting and so useful is that it combines the advantages of variety, authenticity, and portability. Not surprisingly, podcasting is getting increasingly popular all around the world and the collections of useful educational podcasts are growing at a very fast pace.

If you don’t have podcast software, you can try one of these freewares:

Juice (Mac, Windows & Linux)

Do not hesitate to send us your comments or questions if you have any.

Happy podcasting!

The ESL All Team

1-Yahoo Podcasts
Yahoo Podcasts: Yahoo’s new podcast section. Here you will find the best collection of educational and non-educational podcasts in English on a wide range of subjects now available online. Learners can even slow down the speed of a podcast file when using Yahoo’s online podcast player. Not all podcasts have transcripts.

ESLpod.com: An ESL site containing over 135 podcasts to help improve your English by listening to native speakers talk and discuss topics of interest to you. You'll learn new idioms and expressions and learn to use them the way native speakers do. Pronunciation is very slow and clear, and a little unnatural. Each ESL Podcast lasts 10-20 minutes. Includes: transcripts, slow dialogue, explanations, and fast dialogue.

3- Voice of America (VOA Simple English News)
VOA Simple English News: A 30-minute daily news and feature program in a simplified form of American English, made easier for those learning the language. Level: High beginner through advanced. Summary of the shows available but no transcript. Click on “Special English” (last podcast link on the page).

VOA also features the following podcasting programs: Encounter, Issues in the News, Our World, Press Conference USA, and Talk to America.

4- VeryVocabulary.com
VeryVocabulary.com: ESL site containing over 60 podcasts dealing with English vocabulary words podcasts (3 to 10 minutes). Great for students, foreigners, or anyone looking to improve their vocabulary. For intermediate students. Summary of the shows available but no transcript.

5- English Idioms and Slang
EnglishIdioms and Slang: Short daily podcast about slang and idioms study read in American English for intermediate and advanced level learners. Includes transcripts.

6- The Bob and Rob Show
Englishcaster.com: A weekly English lessons from a Yankee and a Brit for all levels. They offer useful English lessons for intermediate level learners. Summary of the shows available but no transcript.

7- English Teacher John.com
The English Teacher John Show: An easy-to-understand English learning podcast that features: grammar, idioms, pronunciation, various topics and more. Useful English lessons for intermediate level learners. No transcript available.

8- English Through Stories
English Through Stories: Listen to a weekly fun, entertaining episode of a dramatic story (a soap opera) in English but with explanations of the key words and phrases. You will learn new idioms and expressions and how to use them the way native speakers do. Podcast lasts about 10-20 minutes. Includes transcripts.

9- Learning English with the Linguist
The Linguist: Podcasts that help English learners become better English speakers through making English learning better, faster, and more rewarding. Trained tutors present short natural language conversations - and transcripts are always available.

10- Podictionary.com
A daily podcast for logophiles (word lovers). You get a minute or two of discussion every day on the history and etymology (origin) of familiar words. Over 195 podcasts available. For advanced learners of English. No transcript.

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