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  HOME > ESL Community > Free topics
  iPods to Study English
  Mori     Thu 18 Jun 2009 12:21 AM (GMT)      Read : 12761… (1794)

It has become a common sight to see international students at Hawaii Community College listening to their iPods, in the cafeteria, on the campus and even in the classroom during classtime. The teachers don't get angry or frustrated, they encourage them. Using iPods is part of the program and is being used to develop listening and speaking skills of the students. Many of our international students, especially those from Asia report that they find listening and speaking difficult. One of the reasons is that it is very difficult to study listening and speaking alone. It is comparatively easy to study grammar or reading alone since you don't need a partner and you can usually follow a book.


iPods are not just for listening to music. There is an infinite amount of audio and video material available on the internet. A lot of the material requires payment; however podcasts do not as a rule. The wealth of free, engaging, high quality content is a little over-whelming. However, international students at Hawaii Community College are guided in how to choose what material to download. In general it is best to choose podcasts with a video content since it is usually easier to understand what is being said when you have visual support.


Using iPods to study has many advantages. Students can control and choose their own material, material they are genuinely interested in. Students can listen when and where they like. Even if they don't have an internet connection at home, they can still download their podcasts from the college's computers and work wherever and whenever it is convenient. Also they can listen as many times as they need to. If they miss something, unlike live television or radio, they can repeat or pause to make time for notes. Additionally, the iPods are equipped with a micromemo which allows students to make their own recordings. This can be useful if they would like to record a lecture or instructions given in class. We also encourage students to record themselves speaking in reaction to something they had just listened to.


With the right guidance and training, ESL students can learn how to use iPods to enhance their self-study techniques and improve their listening and speaking skills. Do you know any international students who want to improve their listening and speaking? Please contact the Intensive English Program at Hawaii Community College 933-0807 or visit our website:

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