Podcasts as language practice

I’m continuing to try to incorporate media literacy and media production into mainstream education and just completed another project that I think might offer a great example of this kind of work. An AP Spanish teacher approached me with the challenge of creating practice with feedback for the spoken portion of the AP Spanish test. I asked her if it were possible to get recorded examples of what that portion of the test might sound like. She was able to find CDs with previous years examples and practice tests. I decided that the students would create podcasts and then she would be able to listen to these podcasts on her computer or portable player and then offer students feedback herself.

I first imported the CDs and created mp3 versions of all practice and exam audio. I then created a simple web page where students would be able to download these MP3s to the computer they were working on. After students had created a folder on the desktop and downloaded these MP3 files to their computer, they imported them into a garage band project.

Using the computers built-in microphone students were able to record their voices onto a new track in GarageBand responding to and answering the questions that were posed from the practice audio. After recording their voices students then exported these projects as MP3 files that we were able to place onto a USB drive that the teacher could review later.  the students were very engaged by this project and the teacher was able to provide meaningful feedback to students in preparation for their AP exams.