The Peculiarities of Using Podcasts in the Professional Training of Future Teachers of the English Language
The article reveals the introduction of podcasts in English teacher training as a part and necessity of modern technocratic society. In regard of new technical and computer approaches to learning and mastering the English language methodology and technical side of the question are described. The paper also analyzes the benefits of using online audio files: free access, a variety of available topics, a stimulating effect, an expert opinion and exchange, options to change/modify or create any educational material, the possibilities of individual and group work. The basic principles, guidelines and stages of introducing and organizing the students’ work with audio material are characterized. Podcasts are regarded as a free source of knowledge and as a self-made product which the students and their instructor can create and post online at the same time. Such material can be used both in class and in extra curriculum activity. Before starting work with an episode the students should be thoroughly taught the basic principles of applying podcasts and special software (iTunes, Audacity etc). As soon as the students are adjusted they can be offered a number of tasks that stimulate creativity, cognition, partnership. Firstly they use ready-made files from the web learning or mastering phonological, lexical or grammatical items in a definite situation – context. At the second stage they can be involved into a communicative game based on the example of the audio. Only then the learners can develop their own episodes revealing the aspects of the topic they are interested in. (The article illustrates a few tasks which correspond to different levels of work with podcasts). At this stage co-editing is extremely important. It means that the instructor and the group mates turn to be one productive team. Mutual support and cooperation guarantee students’ outstanding achievements. More over the materials can be posted online and listened to by native speakers or an expert from a definite sphere. So the students’ work can be objectively evaluated via feedback. This very fact can urge the class to be more responsible while preparing the material. Thus academic work with authentic audio files meets modern requirements to English teacher training. It greatly contributes to the development of professional linguistic skills and competence.
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