My Podcast Project

Title: The 001 Weekly Podcast

Main Objective:to model the grammar the students have been learning

Level: Beginning

Class type: Higher Education (18-32 years); Intensive English Program on an American university campus

Activity focus: Grammar, listening, reading

Time: About 5 minutes per podcast

Materials: Class blog, camera, Skype and mp3 Skype recorder, Audacity, Podomatic


  1. Decide on a grammar focus.
  2. Decide what the podcast will be about and what preparation I will need to do.
  3. Prepare as necessary (e.g., line up people to interview, take photographs and upload to the computer)
  4. Record the podcast.
  5. Edit the podcast in Audacity and add a musical beginning and end.
  6. Embed the podcast in the class blog (Friday or Saturday).

Project log and artifacts:

I already have a class blog for my beginning level reading/writing/grammar class at the Maryland English Institute (Intensive English Program at the University of Maryland College Park, USA).  I post almost daily, mostly YouTube videos of grammar lessons or songs using the grammar we studied that day. I plan to add a weekly podcast highlighting the grammar we studied. For example, this week, we studied the simple present tense. The students have a writing assignment to describe a typical day in their life. I plan to interview someone about their daily routine. They will speak, and I can ask questions, in the simple present. The challenge is to find someone to interview!

Elizabeth Anne, a webhead living in Grenoble, France, kindly agreed to my request for an interview. Here is the result:

This week's grammar focus is speaking about the present (including there is/are, prepositions of place, and want/would like), and next week we will travel to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, where the assignment will be to describe a painting. With these things in mind, my podcast is a description of my living/dining room:

After our field trip to the National Gallery, I interviewed one of the students, Meshari Alkhuzaee. First, I wrote my side of the interview and sent the questions to Meshari. He answered them in writing. I corrected his errors and added a new question, which he answered. I sent him the finished script and suggested that he practice reading his responses. When I Skyped him, we practiced the entire interview once, and I gave him some feedback on his pronunciation. Then we recorded it in one shot. The result can be heard here.

I missed a week (but posted several screencasts made with Jing, including this one, which was my first screencast using Word), but today I created a new episode, Talking About Food, to review count and noncount nouns and some of the words we use with them, like articles, much, many, a few, a little, a lot of, some, and any:

You can also listen and read the script on the class blog here.


  1. Wow, Nina, you've become a total podcaster! Congratulations!!! I'm really impressed. I love the recording, the script and your blog. Any teacher would be glad to find your materials and use them in class. Cheers!
    You know, while listening to you, a bright idea came to me. Thank you!!! :D

  2. Evelyn, thank you for your praise! It means a lot to me. See you soon in TX!

  3. Hi Nina, it is great you started using podcasts on regular basis. Wonderful. I am now teaching about them and hope my trainees will use them too.

  4. Hi Nina, I listened to everything, WOW! you're really good and nice ideas, very practical for teaching. I think I know Elizabeth Anne from Digital Storytelling, I did that session this year too, that's why I was very busy. She helped me a lot at the beginning of the session. I liked a lot your podcasts. Nice to be in touch.

  5. Graciela, thank you for your comments! It's really tough and time consuming to do 2 EVO sessions. I know because I was lurking in Neuroscience in Education this year. It was really hard to keep up with everything. Actually, I couldn't do it!

  6. Nina, Hi, nice to be in touch again. It's been a long time we haven't been in touch, but I don't forget!! nobody , not the course either!! I'm always thinking how to apply what we learnt with my students. They don't work much, we have many strikes, they are lazy. I have 2 groups of students on facebook but they don't work much and very few of them. All the same, I'm always trying to post new things for them. I insist, and insist, may be something happens once.
    OK, I'm writing to you because I want to share your podcast with E.Anne about routines with one of my groups. Can I? We began the Unit on present simple and browsing what we did on the course I found your podcast!
    All the same, it gave the opportunity to write to you. Very happy about it! Regards, Mirian Graciela

  7. Hi Mirian,
    I'd be honored if you used the little interview with Elizabeth Anne with your students. I hope it inspires them (haha). I am off for the summer as usual but working on planning for the next EVO! Also, my husband and I took a trip to France in June; we had a wonderful time. We visited Paris, Rouen, and Strasbourg, and stayed in the small city of Rueil-Malmaison outside of Paris.
    Hugs from hot Maryland,