The name of “Podcast” appeared in “The Guardian” newspaper in February 2004 when Aled Williams mentioned the word for the first time. The name comes from a mixture of two words, “Pod” (taken from the Apple Ipod) and broadcasting. It is a web syndication of a series of media files, normally mp3 sound or videos with RSS system that can be released periodically and downloaded automatically from a site. These files are available whenever the user requires the file to be heard or seen or both.
For Podcasting, listeners, speakers or viewers need to employ software that helps him/her to down or upload files which later on can be available for the user. Those files can be stored as media files in digital players and/or as web logs in the website used for the purpose of podcasting. This tool then, is not a single event, but a series of episodes (up/downloaded files) that can be compared to a TV series or a magazine publication, in which the user have access to the information (files) in desired time and/or place.
In TEFL, podcasting offers a wide range of possibilities for extra listening on both inside and outside the classroom. This provides students with authentic listening extracts and real life conversations where the students can trigger their ability to hear different voices and varieties of spoken English. Additionally, some sites can be used to make students record their own English speech and doing in a meaningful way. This experience can be very helpful because it can give the opportunity not only to explore the tools available for that alternative, but also a means to practice the pronunciation and speech patterns and make them more accurately with the way the ideas need to be said.
- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Podcast. [On line publication]. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcast [resource consulted: 2011, July 22].
- McCarty, S. and Jogakuin, O. (2005) Spoken Internet to Go: Popularization through Podcasting. The JALT CALL [On line journal]. 1, 2 Available: http://jaltcall.org/journal/articles/1_2_McCarty.pdf [resource consulted: 2011, July 22].
- Stanley, G. (2006) Podcasting: Audio on the Internet comes of Age. Teaching English as a second or Foreign Language. [Online publication] 9, 4. Available: http://www.cc.kyoto-su.ac.jp/information/tesl-ej/ej36/int.html [resource consulted: 2011, July 22].