Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Using BBC news podcasts in the classroom

Today I decided to use a BBC World Service podcast in my Proficiency lesson. I used my Pocket PC linked up to a set of computer speakers that I borrowed from the secretary's PC.

Lesson Plan

1 Ask students what are the latest international stories in the news. Students discuss this in pairs or groups and then report back to the teacher.

2 Write up four or five words from the first story in the podcast on the board.

E.g. elections, Bush, USA, 15

And ask students to guess what the story is about.

3 Play the section (it is a real help if your mp3 player has a screen on which you can see where in the podcast you are). Ask students to write down as many details as possible. It is very important that you make them understand that no one can take down all the details and that they are going to work together as a group.

4 Students swap notes.

5 Play the section again.

6 Ask the class to tell you what they understood.

7 Repeat steps 2 to 6 for the remainder of the stories, either one by one or all the stories in one go.

8 For homework ask them to follow one of the stories either in the news or on the web.

BTW I just noticed today that Sky TV channel here in Greece has the same BBC news stories that I used in the lesson dubbed into Greek. The next time I do a lesson like this I'm going to ask my students to watch Sky in order to see how much they've understood in the lesson.

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