Friday, November 28, 2014


I listened to the podcast ESLPodcast 12- Dining at a Restaurant on the ESL Podcast site. The specific podcast I listened to was about 12 mins long and described a typical restaurant scenario in the US. I like that the site not only provides the podcast to listen to, but a section of the recording is transcribed for students to read. In the transcription, different words are highlighted to suggest more complicated terms.

Once the speaker was finished describing a typical restaurant experience. This section of the podcast is transcribed. Then, the speaker goes over some of the difficult phrases and terms used in the restaurant story. Most of the phrases are common ones that we hear everyday, both in and out of a restaurant. Some of the phrases that he went over included:

  • Treat yourself
  • Afford
  • Every once in a while
  • Host vs. Hostess
  • How many in your party?
  • I'll show you to your table
  • Big drinker
  • Spotted
  • Dish
  • A must
I think he chose really appropriate terms to go over, because some of these expressions are dependent on the context of being in a restaurant. For example, the word "dish" by definition is essentially a plate, however in a restaurant "dish" can mean a meal. Additionally, the word "party" means a celebration, however in a restaurant the term is used to describe a group of people eating together. So I think it's great that he explained everything for students to better understand complicated phrases.

One thing I wish the podcast would've done is included the entire recording in the transcription. I feel that to have transcribed the portion in which the speaker goes over these complicated terms would have better helped students understand what the words and phrases. Reading may be easier than listening for some students.
Additionally, in speaking everything in English, the students may have trouble understanding everything. Although he spoke very slowly and clearly, I think that maybe to have had the second half of the recording in their home language to better comprehend. 

Overall, I would definitely use this podcast site. The restaurant scenario is one of the many different aspects of culture and communication that students can learn from. This would fulfill ESL4.1: Language for Social Interaction where students will develop the appropriate communication skills to interact in social situations. As a teacher, I would try to transcribe some of the portions that the podcast does not, as well as provide the transcriptions in other languages if needed.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a very useful podcast, but I agree with you that a total transcript would be more helpful.