Volume 2, Number 10

Your FREE Monthly ESL Newsletter

November 2009

ESL / EFL Podcasts and Vodcasts Revisited


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Christine Lepine

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Dear ESL All subscribers from all around the world,

We are happy to resume publishing our monthly newsletter after months of inactivity. As you are more than aware of, things change very fast in the field of second language learning on the Internet, especially when it comes to listening comprehension practice material. So, to help you keep up-to-date with some of the best resources devoted to English learning online, we have, this month, decided to re-visit the subjects of podcasting and vodcasting.

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.

Video podcasts (sometimes shortened to "vcast," "vodcast" and "videocast,") is a recent add-on to podcasting. A video podcasts is a video clip designed to be viewed in a portable device. It is the video counterpart of a podcast and uses the same RSS syndication method for delivering material to users. To download or watch a video podcast, one has to subscribe to audio media files and download the material to portable electronic media players, such as an IPod. Video podcasting does not require special server distribution software such as Internet broadcasting does. There are no technical restrictions on the types of encoding formats available for video podcasting.

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

Juice (Mac, Windows & Linux)


1- BBC World Service - 6 Minute Podcast

6 Minute Podcast:Learn and practise useful British English language for everyday situations with the BBC. A weekly instruction manual is published every Wednesday. Each program
is six-minute long and contains examples and explanation to help you improve your knowledge of the English language across a wide range of topics.
2- ESLpod.com
The English Blog.com: An ESL Podcast 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.

3- EnglishLingq
EnglishLingq: Learn English from the EnglishLingQ podcast. Each episode can be studied using the learning tools available at LingQ.com. Trained tutors present short natural language conversations - and full text is always available. Their podcasts may contain interviews, articles, or audio book excerpts, but are most often just general conversations in English.

4- BetterAtEnglish.com
BetterAtEnglish.com: Free English lessons to help you learn English vocabulary, idioms, slang, grammar, and more. Short and fun English podcasts for busy people who don't have much time to study or who think that traditional English lessons are not interesting. Requires only a few minutes a day to have fun improving conversational English.

5- China 232.com
China 232: Learn English Anywhere: Free ESL podcasts by two brothers from Canada who grew up near Toronto and are now living in Shanghai. The podcasts cover a wide variety of interesting topics. They will teach intermediate to advanced level English learners about slang and everyday conversation English.

Our New Ebook Is Out!
The November 2009 Second Edition is now available.

You Are Just a Few Clicks Away from Better English!

77 Tips to a Better English Using the Internet

A Guide for Second Language Learners

Take Advantage of Our Special Offer!

Get a free sample.

6- The English Desk
The English Desk:
Free everyday English podcasts from Canada with text for ESL listening and pronunciation practice.

7- ESLlearningpod.com
ESL Learning Pod: ESL Learning Pod was put together to help you learn English. Free podcasts and learning materials which cover a wide variety of subjects and topics for you to practice and improve your English language skills. Their podcasts are fun, educational, and as interactive as possible.

8- iteslj.org
TESL Journal's ESL Listening Podcasts: ESL learners and teachers online blog. Ideas, thoughts, uses of English and other language-learning related issues. Features many discussion categories, ESL archives and links to other blogs. Very useful material for language learners.

9- a4esl.org
English as a Second Language (ESL) Podcasts: Listen to the 30 most recent podcasts by ESL podcasters. You can listen to these podcasts without needing to subscribe to many RSS feeds. So go back to this site on a regular basis to find new podcasts.

10- EnglishTeacherJohn.com
English Teacher John Show:
An easy-to-understand English learning podcast that features: grammar, idioms, pronunciation, various topics and more. Teacher John always speaks slowly and clearly and he is easy to understand. He offers useful English lessons for intermediate level learners.

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