Do you use radio programs to help your English students learn English?

Radio remains a powerful tool for English teachers, especially with advance preparation. You can being by mining the wonderful BBC and Voice of America websites for classroom materials and lessons, but you can also go far beyond those two vulnerable sites.
Giving students the power to select their own materials and bring those stories into the classroom gives them a chance to express their individuality and speak more in class. You also get a chance to hear – literally – what your students like and their reflections.

So here is another popular homework worksheet that you can use to gently push your ESL and EFL students to listen to the radio – on the internet or live – and expand their listening skills and vocabulary. Use or lose!

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Listening to the Radio and Learning English !

Student Name:
Class:
Teacher:
School:
Date:

Please find a radio program that you would like to share with your classmates. Listen to the radio program, find the text, take notes, and share the program with classmates.

Radio broadcast title:
Web address:
Length:
Narrator:

Please describe the radio program.

What was the main idea of the radio broadcast?

What did you learn listening to the segment?

How many times did you listen to the broadcast? Why?

Did you hear any new English words or phrases?
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Who do think is the target audience for this radio program? Why?

Why did you choose this program?

How would you rate this radio program on a scale of 1-5 stars? Why?
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Ask more. Know more. Share more. Speak more.
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4 comments

  1. Super tip, Eric!

    Additonally, via the radio section in i-tunes, students can even make choices, finding stations that broadcast in English from all over the world.

    If they look into podcasts as an option, sometimes a national radio station also produces an English language version of their normal content (e.g. In Germany Deutsche Welle has an English news version).

    Take care,
    Karenne

  2. Karenne – Excellent additional suggestions!

    Thank you, as always, for visitng and sharing your web-savvy ideas. While wealthier countries are more likely to have an English version of a national radio program, it’s certainly worth checking out!

  3. This is a good assignment, but not for homework. Students can cheat too easily.

  4. Students may find programs translated into their best language or copy a prior student’s summary, but that seldom happens in my classes. Why? Perhaps because I encourage each student to follow their own interests and give them a platform to share their experiences and perceptions. Many students – especially if they have been denied the opportunity to choose their materials in previous schools – welcome the opportunity.

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