Using Grammar Girl Podcasts to Teach about Quotation Marks

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This blog series is written by Julia Domenicucci, an editor at Macmillan Learning, in conjunction with Mignon Fogarty, better known as Grammar Girl.


Six empty speech bubbles, each with a pair of opening and closing quotation marks.


This month’s post is a week early because of the holiday next Thursday. Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate!


Podcasts have been around for a while, but their popularity seems to increase every day—and for good reason! They are engaging and creative, and they cover every topic imaginable. They are also great for the classroom: you can use them to maintain student engagement, accommodate different learning styles, and introduce multimodality.


LaunchPad and Achieve products include collections of assignable, ad-free Grammar Girl podcasts, which you can use to support your lessons. You can assign one (or all!) of these suggested podcasts for students to listen to before class. Each podcast also comes with a complete transcript, which is perfect for students who aren’t audio learners or otherwise prefer to read the content. To learn more about digital products and purchasing options, please visit Macmillan's English catalog or speak with your sales representative. 

If you are using LaunchPad, refer to the unit “Grammar Girl Podcasts” for instructions on assigning podcasts. You can also find the same information on the support page "Assign Grammar Girl Podcasts."

If you are using Achieve, you can find information on assigning Grammar Girl in Achieve on the support page "Add Grammar Girl and shared English content to your course." If your English Achieve product is copyright year 2021 or later, you are able to use a folder of suggested Grammar Girl podcasts in your course; please see “Using Suggested Grammar Girl Podcasts in Achieve for English Products” for more information.


Podcasts about Quotation Marks

  • How to Use Quotation Marks [7:51]
  • Quotation Marks and Punctuation [5:02]
  • Punctuating Questions [7:07]
  • Single Quotation Marks versus Double Quotation Marks [6:13]


Students can do a lot more with podcasts than simply listen to them. Choose one or both of the following assignments for students to complete using the suggested Grammar Girl podcasts.


Assignment A: Ask students, either individually or in small groups, to write a script for their own podcast on a grammar topic. Students should consider the following questions as they develop their script:

  • What topic do they want to focus on?
  • How long do they want the podcast to be? (As with an essay, broader topics tend to result in longer podcasts. You may also want to set time limits.)
  • What do they already know about their chosen topic? What other questions do they still have about their topic? What will they need to research?
  • If the students are working in groups, how will they structure the podcast to accommodate the different narrators?


After drafting, ask students to submit their scripts. Each script should include a title and the expected duration. You may also want them to include a separate paragraph reflecting on the script writing process.


Assignment B: Have students record their podcast from Assignment A and share the files with their classmates. Reflect on the process and results as a group. Which parts of the project were easiest? Which were most difficult? Did they have to adjust their scripts at all during recording?


Recording podcasts can take a lot of time and sometimes involves a steep learning curve. If recording podcasts is not feasible for your class, have each student read their script aloud to their peers.


Do you have other suggestions for using podcasts in lessons? Let us know what they are in the comments!


Credit: Pixabay Image 1375858 by 905513, used under a CC0 Creative Commons License