Students find their voices with Audioboo

I love Audioboo. Before discovering it, I had used podcasts in class or directed students to podcasts as homework, but had never encouraged my students to make their own. Little did I realise how effective it would prove to be.


The great thing about podcasts is that you can listen to them anywhere – while walking to school, driving to work, waiting at the dentist …

They can be informative, practical and entertaining, and creating your own can be so much fun.

Audioboo is a site that brings together all different types of podcasts, professional and amateur, in different categories. You can find lots of interesting material to use in class. Or you and your students can create your own podcasts – in minutes.

For this, you need to sign up. You then click Record and have the option of creating a new recording or uploading audio material you already have.

A few ideas for using

  • Weekly news programmes.
  • Explanations of lesson content for students to watch at home before the class.
  • Write and record poems or stories.
  • Weekly audio journal or diary.
  • Book or film reviews.
  • Vocabulary lists to prepare for tests.
  • The teacher or students can record themselves reading texts from the coursebook, or articles discussed in class.
  • The teacher can interview English speaking family and friends, students can interview each other or their family, etc.

How to:

One example of how I used it was when working with a group of first year Media and Marketing students, analysing  advertisements. Students looked for an ad (in the English language) which they felt was particularly effective or memorable, and wrote a short text about it, discussing the product, the plot, target audience, why they thought it was successful etc. I asked the students to watch the Audioboo tutorial, and they then recorded themselves reading their texts. These we posted to our class Facebook group, and those who were finished could begin listening to their classmates’ podcasts, making note of the ads that sounded most interesting.  We later voted for the top three ads, which we watched in class on youtube, after listening as a group to the related podcasts again.

What surprised me was the effort some students put into the task. From carefully editing their texts and asking different classmates to check them, to recording it a number of times until they were satisfied, I felt they were more attentive to what they were producing than when I simply ask for a text.

The podcasting was so successful, I used it again at the end of the course, in a more light-hearted way. Students were asked to record messages for their group congratulating them on their hard work, or wishing them well in their exams etc. They produced some great content, and again everything was posted to our Facebook group page.  A few days later, I could see how often the messages had been listened to, but also that most of the students had commented after the various podcasts in English. Only small posts such as ‘what a lovely message, Vicky‘ or ‘it was fun working with you too, Saskia‘. Nevertheless, I was of course delighted to see that instead of reverting to German, they continued communicating in English.

One student told me she really appreciated having the chance to hear her own voice and notice her own mistakes, away from the noise of the lessons. Many mentioned it as one of the features of the class they most enjoyed.

So, as you can imagine, Audioboo has quickly become a firm favourite with me!

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