Radio and Home Education

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A Fantastic Learning Tool

Use Your Radio to Teach

I have been educating people from home lately, and, like many others, I have had to think up new ways of getting information and sharing it with students of all ages and abilities. I  am referring mainly to language teaching here, but this has made me think: We all know that radio – especially short wave radio – has a long and distinguished history of language courses.

I learnt Esperanto that way, and much of my French in years gone by. When I moved to the UK in 1989, my SW radio was a strong link to my native country - and a means of not forgetting my mothertongue. In some parts of the world, for instance, Australia, radio has been a vital medium for long-distance schooling, as the Daily Telegraph (06/06/20, Magazine) has recently noted.

Beyond that, there are many other ways in which you can put your amateur radio, short wave SDR or communications receiver to good use in education.

When I was at Uni, I used to bring my Grundig Satellite 700 or my AOR AR7030 into class, to help with the study of languages and of how ‘News’ are reported and manipulated in different parts of the globe. Compare the BBC, Radio Romania International, China Radio International and Radio Thailand, for example. Today, I use a Tecsun S-8800 and a Roberts Stream 107 for much the same purpose. With an Internet Radio and Smartphones,  you already have the opportunity to search for certain categories of radio, such as 'News', 'Sport' or 'Music'. A ready-made gateway into critical media analysis.

When in lockdown, you can share recordings or arrange parallel listening sessions and Q&A classes. And just think what there is to learn about physics, the environment, the weather, technology, propagation and other topics, simply from the use of radio as a teaching tool. The only limit is your imagination …

(GW 07/06/20)