Audio / Oral History Component


Part # 1: A digital storytelling of our Community

1.Before the interview: For the first part of this project, students will interview each other in small groups (2-3 ppl) about their linguistic background, linguistics identities and how they navigate their linguistic practices at home and at LaGuardia. We will work together as a group to come up with research questions, and to explore and learn about techniques and strategies to carry on an effective interview.

You only need you cellphone for recording purposes! Please check the FAQ below – Bring your phone fully charged and with the app you want to use (The C building does not have good internet connection, make sure to download the app and check it before class). Regarding the recording apps: (check the format – WAV!)

Helpful resources:

Interview pointers and Strategies

2. Interview: Once the interviews are completed, you will upload the entire audio to the Dropbox class. The Dropbox class will have a folder for the “raw interviews” and instructions will be given in class on how to upload your audio file. You will have to upload your interview with your lastname(s) and date: YourLastName(s).dateoftheinterview.WAV (for example – VanoGarcia.21feb.WAV).

Steps to upload your audio file from your recording up to dropbox using your cellphone:
(Upload other files from your device’s storage)
  1. Open the Dropbox app.
  2. Open the Dropbox folder where you’d like to store your photos.
  3. Tap the + (plus) icon at the bottom of your screen.
  4. Select Upload files. You can select files from any location in your device’s local memory.
  5. Tap Upload (or Open on some devices).

3. After the Interview: For our final project, we will need to edit these interviews – our audience may not have the time to listen to every single interview, it will take them many hours! We will We will have a workshop in order to learn basic editing techniques using audacity and create short podcasts (between 3-5minutes) in order to make sure that we capture the most relevant issues/topics. We will spend time in class working on our final podcast.

– Download Audacity for Windows and Mac

Some Basic Tutorials:
How to use Audacity for beginners
How to edit in Audacity

*** Make sure to visit and explore – a collaborative repository for sounds and effects!

Once you have edited your podcasts, please make sure to upload them to our Dropbox – there will be a file titled “Edited interviews (Ready to go!)” Once more, remember to name your file: YourLastName(s).dateofedition.WAV (for example – VanoGarcia.21feb.WAV).

Examples of oral History projects:

The Brooklyn College Listening Project

Sundays at the Bakery” – Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History

***Here you can find a model that I personally carried out last month – it was my first time using audacity!

Part #2: A digital Storytelling of Jackson Heights

  1. Before the interview: You are already an expert interviewer! We will work as a group once more in order to narrow down our research topics and interview questions.
  2. Interview(s): Do not forget to upload all your files to Dropbox!
  3. After the interview: Now that you are familiar with audio editing, we will spend time in class creating our podcasts and deciding the final look of our product.


Does my interview need to be entirely in English?
– No! In order to show and illustrate the language diversity and the multilingual and multiliterate spaces we live in, feel free to capture this any way you think is appropriate and effective

How should I record my interview?
– Use a phone
– Use Recorder app (we want to record in WAV)
 iOS devices:
PCM recorder Lite (I have used this one!)
Awesome Voice Recorder (AVR):
Audio Recorder and Editor
Hi-Res Audio Recorder

How long should my interview be?
– As long as it takes (not helpful, but true.)
– Probably between a half-hour and an hour
– Be conscious of interviewee fatigue

Where should I conduct the interview?
– Somewhere comfortable and quiet

Do we need some sort of release form?
– Yes! We will talk about this in detailed during class.