My Podcast Project

Title: Snow Stories

Main objective: To involve students in creating a podcast by interviewing them about their experiences during a recent snowstorm and their feelings about snow.

Level: Advanced Intermediate

Class type: Higher education, international students in an IEP in a U.S. university

Aim: For me: to develop podcasting and editing skills. For the students: optional extra speaking practice for the volunteers; listening practice for the whole class

Activity Focus: Speaking and listening

Time: 10-15 minutes

Materials: Skype interviews with the Skype mp3 recorder, live interviews with a digital voice recorder (Olympus WS-600S), Softonic or Zamzar WMA-mp3 file converter, Audacity for editing, Free Music Archive, hosted on Podbean and embedded in the class wiki.

1. Teacher invites students to share their snow stories on Skype.
2. Teacher records Skype conversations and edits them using Audacity.
3. Teacher also interviews students using a hand-held voice recorder.
4. Teacher converts WMA files to mp3 files using Softonic or Zamzar and uploads them to Audacity for editing.
5. Teacher collects the interviews on a single track in Audacity.
6. Teacher adds music and voiceover tracks.
7. Teacher publishes and shares the finished podcast.

Podcast Project Plan #2

Title: Pronunciation of scientific and subtechnical words

Main objective: To monitor the pronunciation of a list of cross-disciplinary scientific and "subtechnical" vocabulary in a pronunciation class for international teaching assistants.

Level: Advanced

Class type: Higher education, international teaching assistants in a U.S. university

Aim: The monitor students' pronunciation of words common to the physical and social sciences

Activity Focus: pronunciation

Time: About 5 minutes per recording

Materials: Chirbit (for student recordings) and Vocaroo (for teacher feedback)

1. Teacher goes over pronunciation of 80-100 words per week from the list "Subtechnical Terms Applicable to All Scientific Fields" from the book Communicate: Strategies for International Teaching Assistants by Smith, Myers and Burkhalter, pp. 231-237.
2. Student creates a Chirbit account and records the words of the week and sends the teacher the link (first time).
3. Teacher listens to the recording, returns feedback via Vocaroo and signs up to follow the student's Chirbit account.
4. Thereafter, the teacher can go directly to the student account to monitor the recordings when the student informs her by email that s/he has finished the recording.
5. Student may record the words that s/he mispronounced the first time.
6. Repeats every week.


  1. Nina, congratulations for the dedication and love you have put into this podcasting blog, the podcasting projects, the instructions, the high sound quality and content of your podcasts, etc. Awesome job!!! :)

  2. Nina, great job. Very inspirational! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi Nina,

    Reminds me when a teacher in Kansas had his students share about tornadoes while my students in California shared about Earthquakes. I really appreciate all of your hardwork and feedback. I wish you the best in this podcasting adventure.

  4. Evelyn, Rita, and Jose: thanks for visiting, and thanks for your comments! :-)

  5. Hi Nina, I found your podcast and the project really thought-provoking. Thanks. Btw, my eldest daughter and youngest granddaughter are both called Nina :-)

  6. Nina, your blog is such a good sample for those of us less-digitally expert to follow - thank you! I would like to know why you use both Chirbit and Vocaroo for one assignment. Doesn't it get confusing? - Marcia Yingling

  7. Hi Marcia, that is a good question. The reason is to keep my comments private. It is possible to leave an audio or written comment on a Chirbit, but then anyone else who listens to that Chirbit can read or listen to my corrections. That's why I decided to use Vocaroo instead. Also, since I see these students in 1-on-1 tutorials every other week, I sometimes just provide feedback f2f. Thanks for visiting my blog! I have not done anything podcasting-related since the end of the course. I keep putting it off! So easy to get inundated with other work when there is no deadline for doing things.