ACADEMIC PODCAST (ANDROID APPS) FOR LISTENING SKILL

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English is one of the lessons that are commonly avoided by many learners because English cannot be studied instantly. It needs high concentration to master English education. The last exam of nationality uses English also and it emphasizes in grammar, listening, reading, writing and speaking to get the standard of passing the final test nationality. The learners think that English is very elaborate than other subjects.

The aim of learning English process focused on senior high students is refered to comprehend the students’ competence and skill in English, both written and spoken, in which purposes to gain the level of  functional literacy. In addition, it is aimed also to enhance the awareness of students about how important to learn and improve English in order that can compete in international scope. The process of English learning is objected to improve the students’ understanding of the relationship between language and culture.

Focusing on target, teaching english for the senior high students has a purpose to attain a functional scope in order to communicate both written and spoken professionally. To reach this, the students should be able to comprehend all english basic skills. Based on among researchers, listening is the core point of developing skill to enhance other English skills. Therefore, the students, for the object of study, should take over the listening basic skill, so, they could understand some instructions what the teacher asks to do in teaching and learning process.. Listening has emerged as an important component in the process of second language acquisition. Thus, they can respond them well (Feyten, 1991; 75-80).

Yet, it seems difficult for English teacher to teach students to reach all points of learning targets. This can be overviewed from the score of their last exam. Generally, most of them are failed to achieve  the minimum score. This happens because they are not able to listen English text accurately in classroom. When they listen to a sentence, they sometimes miss to write what they listen. Among of them misunderstand to catch the main and supporting idea from the recording audio.

There are some problems found in the second grade students of senior high schools in the context of teaching Listening. For instance, some students are rarely used to exercise themselves listening to the academic audio related to English materials. In addition, they are not used to listen to the native speaker directly in what they are talking about. However, this actually can upgrade their listening skill, but because of these problems, it becomes unfamiliar when they try to listen about audio materials in classroom. Many more, students always have missconception that Listening is the hardest skill to master in general materials.

To overcome those problems, it is essential for the teacher to arrange a new strategy in assisting the students being more active in the learning process. There are many kinds of strategies in teaching listening. One of them is using podcasts. The term ‘Podcast’ was first coined in 2004, and it is defined as an internet audio publishing. The audio recording is designed to be downloaded and listened to on a portable MP3 player of any type, or on a personal computer. Different from other audios, podcasts are delivered online automatically via website. Those offers language teachers and students a wide range of possibilities of extra listening practices both inside and outside of the classroom.

Podcasts may also accommodate a wide variety of learning strategies for students. While some students learn most effectively by taking notes during a lecture and reviewing these in their own study time, others learn more effectively by active listening, without taking notes (Boulos, Maramba & Wheeler, 2006).

Regarding to this information era, finally podcast not only can be accessed via online, but in fact, podcast has recently been possessed in Android system, a kind of sophisticated platform built-in smartphone. It should not accessed online anymore via website or Radio, but podcast can be accessed offline using smartphone. The existence of Android also supported some educational applications which is easy to be downloaded and installed for any users of smartphone, no exception for Podcast. In android, Podcast can be downloaded freely through Google Playstore and can be installed in smartphone directly.

As the conclusion, Podcast is categorized as the simple application focusing on audio which contains lots of listening materials. Commonly, developing this media, some teachers begin to apply this application into their teaching method. This seems easy to be practiced to teach Listening via Podcast for among students. Hopefully, by the kind of this teaching media, students are expected to be more interested in having an enjoyable listening class using Podcast. They have also more valuable occasions to practice their listening, or even though imitate like what native speaker said in academic audio.

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