Podcasting is an extremely useful tool we can make use of in order to work on and improve our listening comprehension skill. To the newbies out there, a podcast is a digital audio file which can be uploaded to or downloaded from a website.

There are downloadable podcasts on newspaper and radio websites, language learning websites, teachers´ and students´blogs, applications,  etc. You can choose to download the podcast or listen to it online. Additionally, you can make a podcasts collection and share it with other people.

Another very practical use that podcasts offer to both teachers and students is the possibility of creating your own podcasts online. There are various websites such as Podomatic or Voicethread (find a complete list under the category “Podcasting Tools” on this website) which allow users to record their own voices and save those podcasts on the same website. This has incredibly valuable language learning implications, such as the possibility of creating a learner´s journal, a classroom radio station, etc.

We shouldn´t forget that listening is, after all, the most important or one of the most important skills to be developed when we learn a foreign language. We need oral input first and foremost. Without it, we wouldn´t  be able to learn how to communicate in the target language.

Incidentally, you might find useful some of the listening exercises that have been designed for intermediate/advanced and elementary students on this web.

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