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Highest Aspirations Podcast, S01 E15: EL Students Create Their Own Podcast With James Housworth

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How might a teacher use podcasts as a way to increase language skills of EL students? How can creating podcast episodes help newcomers and advanced EL students become engaged contributors to their school communities? How might telling stories about family experiences in this format enhance cultural responsive practices? 

We discuss these questions and more with James Housworth, creator of the Hidden Voices Podcast. James is a high school EL teacher in Roseville, Minnesota. He works with both ends of the EL spectrum, teaching newcomer SLIFE students (Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education) as well as advanced LTELs (Long-Term English Learners). James is currently researching the differences between L1 and L2 literacy acquisition to finish his Masters in Education at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. 

During our conversation, James emphasizes that engaging in this kind of activity is not as difficult as it may seem. Our discussion about the importance of taking risks and trying to new strategies with our students serves as an inspiration for anyone who is open to thinking outside the box. We approach the topic of student podcast creation through the lens of language learning and cultural responsiveness, and learn how the two intersect.

James and I reference the following resources during our conversation:

Podcasts

Other Resources

  • James emphasizes the power of mentors he had as a student and as a new teacher.
  • The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne - If you didn't read it (or didn't enjoy it) in high school, it might be worth picking up again.
  • Silas Marner, by George Elliot - Another one to try again as an adult!

We encourage you to use the Anchor podcast app voicemail feature to respond to this episode or to recommend topics and guests for future episodes. 

You can also listen and subscribe to Highest Aspirations on iTunes.