Tune In, Turn On, Make Radio: The Radioshows

Summer is the time when I finally get tie up all of the loose ends that I have left scattered across my various work desks/surfaces/online spaces  during the year.  This year I made myself a promise: (insert mental finger wagging) no new projects until you finish up the old ones. And so, like a grumbly teenager being told she had to mow the lawn on a hot and humid summer day before going out and hanging at the pool with friends, I spent last Saturday inside the house,  finishing up two projects.

Readers of LLU know that Ryan and I have done a couple of workshops that have focused creating radio in the language classroom. Radio is a fluid term here.  I can be both the type of radio that students such as mine are super fortunate to be able to do thanks to our college radio station that believes in community radio, or radio as in a podcast/digital recording you craft and then share with others.

Readers should also, hopefully, know that I have come to realize the importance of radio in the language classroom from a couple of different vantage points.  First, radio promotes active listening and active listening is something we don’t teach enough in the second language classroom.  Second, as I wrote about earlier, creating radio in a second language can be one of the more challenging (and I daresay creative!) oral production exercises we can ask of our students.  Third, just this past semester I have discovered that “radio” also becomes an interesting way for students to frame their own self evaluations in a language.  Stay tuned for a post about self assessment in the form of student created radio shows.

The workshop we hosted aimed to show participants how simple it is to create radio and also, we hope, how much fun it can be.

When we did the workshop at the UCLA Center for Digital Humanities  for  SWALLT2014*,   the time allotted for the session allowed us to review some of the recordings with the participants, but at ALTFest2015 the window was much smaller.  In both cases we promised each workshop to follow up with a completed, sewn together , compilation of their recordings. And in both cases, life as we know it got in the way.

So, drumroll please, I am happy to now share with you the SWALLT2014 Radio Show entitled “The Best Mistake I Ever Made” as well as the ALTFest 2015 Radio Show “What is Creativity?”  In both cases the topic for the show was chosen by the participants and all of the content was recorded on either networked mobile devices or laptops and shared via DropItToMe.

As I state at the end of the SWALLT recording: the delay in completing these files does not  imply that creating the radioshow is a long, complicated process involving (almost) 2 years of sound editing.  No, it means that when one returns from the blissful refuge of a conference….life gets in the way and other things take priority.

When/If we do this workshop again (or should anyone out there care to do something similar) allow me to offer this protip:  make the radio show THAT DAY.

Better yet: build some time into your presentation so your workshop participants can help make the show in Audacity (as a way to show them how super simple it truly is!)

So without further ado, here are the complete shows!  Thanks again to all who shared voices and sounds!

Comments  welcome!


Want to see the beeeee-uuuu-tiful handout that Ryan made for the ALTFest workshop? Oh, you know you do!   Behold! Here it is!


* alas, the SWALLT2014 conference site and SWALLT organizational website appear to be unavailable at this moment


Featured image: by “Day 293:Loose Ends”  by  Quinn Dombrowski CC by-NC-SA 2.0

Barbara is a Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at a small liberal arts college in Maine. Rumor has it this was also her alma mater. She used to work for a small liberal arts college in the cornfields of Ohio for almost 20 years as a teacher and language center director. Prior to these adventures in higher ed she taught high school Spanish and loved it. She wishes she had more time in her life to play with her dogs, write, read, swim, do yoga things and making stuff out of clay. To see her online portfolio please click here!

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