TESOL Talk from Nottingham: Using Podcasts and Blogs to Extend Engagement Amongst Postgraduate TESOL Students

by Jane Evison and Richard Pemberton
University of Nottingham, United Kingdom

This paper reports on a two-part project which involved students engaging with two types of social software: podcasting and blogging. The idea began as part of an “ePioneers1 initiative in the School of Education at the University of Nottingham and continued as part of a university-wide programme focused on “integrative learning.” The genesis of the project, which combined audio podcasting with blogging, was the desire to improve the learning experience of students on the MA TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) course at the University of Nottingham. The aspiration was to do this by promoting postgraduate students’ engagement with theory and research, and by increasing their opportunities to engage with the content, their tutors and their classmates outside formal classroom settings. Although there was a strong focus on the needs of international students, whose first language was not English, the project was designed to be of benefit to all the students taking the course. Whilst access to the students’ blog sites is restricted to course members, the podcasts – which became known as “TESOL Talk from Nottingham” (or TTFN) – are freely available at http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/ttfn. We continue to record podcasts and upload them to the site.

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