Microphones and technology have been a great asset to us in encouraging and exploring opportunities to participate in English activities. We’ve been able to create podcasts on a number of topics and demonstrate our ability to change our speech for different purposes. Some of our podcasts have been very formal and required an interview style format with clear turn-taking, whereas others have been very informal, although these ones also required controlled informality and an awareness that the purpose was still educational. The students have created introductory music and used Audacity to edit them. The podcasts are also a great opportunity to empower students who may struggle to write; they have the option to verbally demonstrate their comprehension of a topic.
Below are two examples of these podcasts. A group of students discussed what they think happens after we die. This may sound very serious, but never underestimate children. They have very valid opinions and are capable of holding very interesting discussions (as you’ll see). The topic came about following the death of a character in a series we are watching. The other podcast is one I did with a student to see how she could address the requirements of completing a persuasive writing text orally.