ESL etc.

Global Issues and Activism in English Language Teaching

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Working with Streaming Audio for ESL – Recording the Clip

For this activity, we are going to use a clip from an episode of This American Life. The clip that we want is about one minute and thirty seconds long, and appears at around the 37 minute mark. First, we need to cue up the clip. Go to episode #10 and click on the orange “full episode” link on the left of the show description. If the audio player does not appear, make sure you have pop-ups enabled in your browser and try again.

Skip ahead in the recording to around 36:50 and pause it. You have to wait for the episode to download before you can skip ahead. Once you have paused it at the right place, launch Audacity.

Make sure the input for Audacity is set to “Stereo Mix” or “Wave Out Mix”. The input is selected using the pull-down menu located beneath the fast forward button. Now, we are ready to record. Press record in Audacity, switch back to the audio player, and hit play. Go back to Audacity, and watch the waves that are being recorded. If they look very rectangular, lower the microphone volume (and possibly the playback volume) until the full peaks of the waves are clearly displayed. It is better for the waves to be too small than to be too big.

Once you’ve got the volume properly adjusted, stop the audio player and cue the clip again. In Audacity, stop the recording, and close the track you just recorded. Press record again, and then press play in the audio player. When the clip you want to record is finished, press stop in Audacity and pause (or close) the audio player.

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