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Benefits and Drawbacks of Podcasting in EFL

Benefits and Drawbacks of Podcasting in EFL



Theoretical benefits and drawbacks of using podcasts in English as a foreign language teaching. Presented at PacCALL 2006 (Nanjing, China)

Theoretical benefits and drawbacks of using podcasts in English as a foreign language teaching. Presented at PacCALL 2006 (Nanjing, China)



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Benefits and Drawbacks of Podcasting in EFL Benefits and Drawbacks of Podcasting in EFL Presentation Transcript

  • Benefits and drawbacks of using podcasts in the EFL classroom Matthew T. Apple Doshisha University, Institute of Language and Culture, Kyoto, Japan
  • Presentation order
    • Podcast explanation
    • Previous research / projects
    • Current study background
    • Demonstration of podcasts and webpages
    • Discussion of benefits / drawbacks
    • Future directions / questions
    • Online radio shows using RSS feeds
    What are podcasts?
    • In essence, podcasts are a kind of online subscription service
    Really Simple Syndication
  • Podcast origins
    • Apple MacIntosh iPod
    • i Pod + broad cast = Podcast
    • The first podcasts appeared in late 2004
    • There were an estimated 30,000+ podcasts in circulation as of fall 2005 (according to www.podcastalley.com)
    • However… You do not need an iPod or mp3 player to listen to or subscribe to podcasts!
  • Popular podcast sites
    • www.podcastalley.com
    • www.podcastnews.com
    • www.podomatic.com
    • The last one was used in the class in the current study
  • EFL/ESL podcasts
    • A large number of podcasts exist for learners of English (also small numbers for learners of German, Portuguese, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, etc.)
    • Most of these podcasts are created by native speakers (e.g., The Daily English Show)
    • Only a few podcasts by non-native speakers (i.e., learners) exist
  • Podcasts in SLA research
    • Diem (2005) mentioned the potential of podcasts as an alternative source of aural input to learners
    • McCarty (2005) described the history of podcasting and his university’s decision to require all students to have iPods
    • Stanley (2006) detailed possible steps for learners to create their own podcasts in English
  • SLA Hypotheses and Concepts
    • Comprehensible input (Krashen, 1982)
    • Comprehensible output (Swain, 1985)
    • Interaction (Long, 1983)
    • Multiple Intelligences (Gardner, 1982)
    • Noticing (Schmidt, 1990)
    • ZPD (Vygotsky, 1938/1978)
    • Problem-solving (von Glaserfield, 1995)
    • Learner agenda (Warschauer, 2000)
    • Cooperative Learning (Kaplan, 1994; Slavin, 1995; Jacobs et al., 2002)
  • CALL criteria (Chappelle, 2001)
    • Language Learning Potential
    • Learner Fit
    • Meaning Focus
    • Authenticity
    • Positive Impact
    • Practicality
  • The Podcast Co-construction Hypothesis
    • Listening to podcasts increases input , but…
    • Making podcasts enables learners to
      • (Co-)Create
      • Negotiate
      • Monitor
      • Control
      • Have more fun with
      • their language use
  • Background of the current study
    • 20 second-year Japanese university students (non-English majors)
    • English Workshop 3-speaking
      • Course met twice per week (Mon & Fri)
      • 90 minutes each class meeting
      • Monday class meeting was in a normal classroom, Friday was in a computer classroom
    • No streaming, wide range of proficiencies
  • Structure of the classes
    • Monday
      • Vocabulary word cards
      • Pronunciation sheets (phonemes, reductions, sentence rhythm, etc.)
      • Work on podcast ideas/script/practice
    • Friday
      • Read student-recommended podcasts and then follow links and listen
      • Type scripts/peer review/practice
  • Structure of podcast creation
    • Brainstorm in groups of 2, 3, or 4
    • Write a summary of the show
    • Write a first draft of the script
    • Peer review another group’s script
    • Rewrite the script and practice
    • Record in the studio / do interviews
    • Edit recordings / add effects or music
    • Post to individual podomatic web sites
    • Listen to classmates’ podcasts and evaluate
  • Student podcast “schedule”
  • Podcast examples from class
    • http://mapple.podomatic.com
      • This is my podcast page for English pronunciation
      • There are links to my students’ pages
    • http://ew3freipod.blogspot.com
      • Each week, students had to recommend at least one podcast by describing it briefly and providing the URL
  • FREiPOD web site from podomatic
  • Students’ recommendations
  • Student Podcast example 2 Man Show News21 ESS Show
  • Student peer evaluation
  • Benefits
    • Students noticed their language use, either by listening to themselves or by listening to each other
    • Students actively asked their friends outside class and their relatives to listen to their podcast and paid attention to feedback
    • Students were able to see (via statistics) that others outside their classroom/ campus/ region/country were listening
  • Benefits (2)
    • Increased autonomy / agenda
    • Improved group work skills (for some)
    • Improved motivation and desire to use English
      • “ I had fun!”*
      • “ I enjoyed creating the podcast”
      • “ I liked learning about computer editing”
      • “ I could record myself for the first time”
    * Quotes are from an end-of-semester online questionnaire
  • Drawbacks
    • Technology difficulties
      • The computer classroom was equipped with 48 IBM laptops that were three years old and had no microphones (some had no sound)
      • Internet access was often painfully slow
      • Only 4 computers in the multimedia center had appropriate audio editing software
      • Students didn’t have flash memory sticks (need for easy-access HD to store projects)
  • Drawbacks (2)
    • Classroom demands
      • Twice per week for 13 weeks -- enough time?
      • Different proficiency & motivation levels of students possibly encouraged “social loafing”
      • Assessment of performance difficult
    • Student beliefs about language learning
      • “ I don’t think I’m improving”*
      • “ I don’t like to work in a group”*
      • “ Is this correct English?” **
      • Teacher-centered classroom exposure may have encouraged a “When are you going to teach us something?”attitude toward classroom behavior
    *Quotes are from an end-of-semester online questionnaire **Spoken in class
  • Future directions
    • Investigate possible increases in student English proficiency
    • Investigate possible changes in student motivation or desire to use English
    • Investigate possible changes in learner beliefs about language learning and/or use of computers
  • Contact information
    • Matthew T. Apple
    • [email_address]
    • http://mapple.podomatic.com
    • http://homepage.mac.com/matthewtapple
    • Feel free to contact me at my snail mail:
    • Doshisha University
    • Institute of Language and Culture
    • 1-3 Tatara-miyakodani, Kyotanabe-shi 610-0394 JAPAN
  • Thank you for listening! See (and hear) you again in cyberspace