Student preferences for reviewing podcasts in class, feature in a piece contributed to The Atlantic by Michael Godsey, an English teacher based in San Luis Obispo, California.
In the piece, “Why Podcasts Like ‘Serial’ Are Helping English Teachers Encourage Literacy“, Godsey saw student engagement grow when podcasts with transcripts were used in class.
With 62% of Godsey’s students choosing to listen to a podcast with a scrolling transcript on a screen when given options, Godsey shared some observations from his classroom:
- The audio plus word learning format kept the students’ attention on track.
- Notes could be taken while tracking the scrolling transcript on the screen.
- The transcript enabled students to check their listening comprehension in real time.
- Fast readers were able to jot down quotes and/or notes while listening to the audio.
- Students with eyesight issues were not excluded from the classroom task or discussion.
- Students learning ESOL find the podcast/transcript mix shows how words should sound.
Listening Dominates Reading Comprehension
Godsey cites a 2014 article in the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology by Tiffany P. Hogan and others, whose research shows that “listening comprehension becomes the dominating influence on reading comprehension,” especially as children grow older.
Ultimately, Godsey notes that a seeing-and-hearing word mix in class benefits students:
Podcasts offer an opportunity for students to practice their listening comprehension of complex texts that are both conversational and formal, and the corresponding scripts give the student the chance to confirm their comprehension.
Elsewhere, video captions are called ‘the missing piece in education’ – while for students with cochlear implants, seeing and hearing words together can reinforce their daily learning.