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Jurnal kpr2

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  • 1. Networks: Vol. 13, Issue 1 Spring 2011Podcasting in a High School Spanish Language Class to Improve theSpeaking Skill: An Action Research StudyMaggie Brennan Juana and Deniz PalakBlind Brook High School and North Carolina Central UniversityUsing action research as a method of inquiry, a high school Spanish teacher undertook this study tounderstand how podcasting could be used to help improve students’ Spanish speaking skills.Multiple sources of data collected and analyzed by the teacher-researcher in collaboration with herstudents and other collaborators reveal that the frequency and variety of carefully designed weeklypodcasting assignments over time helped improve student speaking skills. This paper provides aframework of reference for other K-12 teachers as to how they could use new technologiessuccessfully and understand the effects in their classrooms.Speaking in the target language tends to be the most degree program from New York Institute ofchallenging aspect of second language learning and Technology.teaching (Horwitz, Horwitz, & Cope, 1986;Pichette, 2009). Speaking produces more anxiety The word “podcast” resulted from the joining of thefor most students compared to other skills such as terms “iPod” and “broadcasting” (Cruz &reading, writing, and listening. Contemporary Carvalho, 2007; Lim, 2005). According to the Newapproaches to second language learning emphasize Oxford American Dictionary, a podcast is "a digitalchallenges associated with reducing student anxiety recording of a radio broadcast or similar program,in the classroom (Young, 1990; Frantzen & Magnan made available on the Internet for downloading to a2005, Pichette, 2009). For most students, however, personal audio player.” The generally acceptedthe classroom teaching environment is the only definition has expanded to include the following: Aopportunity to practice speaking in the target podcast is a compressed digital multimedia filelanguage. This limited opportunity to practice (audio or video) that is made available on thespeaking coupled with student anxiety about Internet for download and playback using aspeaking in the target language are challenges for computer or a mobile device such as an iPod. Aboth students and teachers of language. Concerned podcast file can also be uploaded to websites, linkedwith improving students’ Spanish speaking skills, to a blog, sent through email, or any other way thatthis study is an account of Maggie Brennan Juana’s a traditional computer file can be sharedexperience using podcasting to aid students with (Fontichiaro, 2007). The most advantageous aspectspeaking Spanish at the secondary level. Maggie is of podcasts is their ease of distribution. They area high school Spanish teacher who teaches not restricted to the iPod technology and are easilyAdvanced Placement Spanish and other upper-level downloadable on any MP3 device or onto ahonors courses at a suburban high school outside of computer. Any person with a mobile device such asNew York City. Using the action research an iPod or any other MP3 player can listen to thesemethodology (McNiff, Lomax, & Whitehead, files anywhere once they download a podcast file2003), the study was conducted to determine if and onto their mobile device.how the use of podcasting would help improvestudent speaking abilities. Maggie conducted this Considering the limited opportunities for practicingstudy and wrote the article under the supervision of the speaking skill in her traditional classroomDr. Deniz Palak while taking a course in a graduate environment, Maggie considered using podcasts asJuana & Palak 1
  • 2. Networks: Vol. 13, Issue 1 Spring 2011a supplement to her already existing practice. She improve the speaking skill, Maggie undertook theconsidered podcasting technology to help improve study. She conducted this action research study, inher students’ Spanish speaking skills for three collaboration with her students and a colleague inspecific reasons: (1) podcasting made the her school, based on the action research frameworkdistribution and sharing of audio files or recorded modeled by Dr. Deniz Palak while taking a coursespeech files extremely easy; (2) podcasting eased taught by this instructor. To comply with the ethicsstudent anxiety about speaking in the target of research, Maggie filed an IRB protocol andlanguage and provided convenience as well as received permission from the parents, as well as theflexibility as to when and where students could district, before conducting the study. We believelisten and practice Spanish; and (3) podcasting this study will contribute to the body of literature onsuited the lifestyle of the 21st century students with action research conducted by K-12 classroomits ease of distribution and flexibility of listening to teachers themselves. Also, we believe the topic ofaudio and video anywhere at any time. It provided the study, the use of educational podcasting in aa great alternative to the traditional method of language classroom, will help others who are tryinglistening and recording audio within the four walls to integrate this technology into their day-to-dayof a typical second language classroom practices.environment. The Research ContextEmerging research of this relatively new technology The Teacheralso supported her assumptions that podcasting has Maggie Brennan Juana is a high school Spanishshown to improve pronunciation and speaking skills teacher who undertook this study in an Advancedamong college students (Lord, 2008). Despite its Placement Spanish Language class during thegreat potential to bridge the gap between the content school year of 2008-2009, over the course of twodelivery and the lifestyle of the students of the semesters. Though not a native speaker of Spanish,Millennial Generation across K-16, research is not Maggie has been immersed in the Spanish languageyet available to help teachers gauge the benefits of through her trips to Europe, Central and Southpodcasting when it is used in traditional K-12 America and at home with her native Spanish-teaching environments. Published research articles speaking spouse. She has been teaching Spanish foron the experience of using podcasting in a language nine years.class are few. Those who have used it consistentlyexpressed benefits of podcasting such as improving The Studentsstudent speaking skills and emphasized its ease of The student participants of the inquiry were 10use (Johnson, 2008; Lim, 2005; Lum, 2006). High seniors from an Advanced Placement Spanish class.school and middle school science teachers have All of these students have excelled at Spanish in theconducted studies indicating that podcasts increased past and were responsible mature adults. They hadstudent motivation, technical skills sets, and content engaging and intelligent commentary during theknowledge in science (Piecka, Studnicki, & entire process. Extensive amounts of work wereZuckerman-Parker, 2008; Putman & Kingsley, expected from them and they willingly complied.2009). Other studies conducted in the area of They provided interesting and informative feedbackeducational podcasting within college settings have on the podcasting and oral recordings done as partfocused on its use as a tool to supplement and of this research study.support content delivery in traditional collegelectures and e-learning environments (Ractham,2006; Lee, McLoughlin, & Chan, 2008; Lord, 2008; The SchoolOrmond, 2008; Parson, 2009; Oliver, Osborne, & This research was conducted at Blind Brook HighBrady, 2009). School, a small high school located in an upper middle class community outside of New York City.Charged by her concern about improving students’ For the last five years, this high school hasSpanish speaking skills and encouraged by the consistently been listed as one of the top 100 highpotentials of podcasting as a tool to help students schools in the nation by Newsweek magazine asJuana & Palak 2
  • 3. Networks: Vol. 13, Issue 1 Spring 2011well as US News and World Report. The high phones. When given the signal, they recorded theirschool also has an outstanding percentage of voices by speaking over the phone and then postingstudents going onto college. For the past 4 years, the recording to gcast afterward.99% of the students attended a 4-year university,with the remaining 1% going to 2-year universities. The current study included two types of oral recordings: podcast recordings done via gcast and Methodology Audacity recordings done in a language lab at school. The concept map displayed in Figure 1The purpose of this study was to investigate how captures the image of the action research design forpodcasting, as a medium of oral recording, helped both types of oral recordings. Once every twoimprove students’ Spanish speaking abilities in a weeks, students completed a traditional recording in12th grade traditional face-to-face high school the language lab on Audacity software, as done insetting. The study started in November of 2008 and the past. These traditional lab recordings were donecontinued to May of 2009. in a group setting during class time. Typically, the students were given a specific assignment, such asMaking oral recordings by other traditional methods comparing and contrasting two similar Spanishwas an already existing practice in this particular stories or completing a “simulated conversation”language class. The use of other oral recording with another recorded voice. They were given twotechniques, such as recording the student voices on minutes to speak as clearly, concisely, and fluentlycassette tapes and CDs had been used in the past. as possible in order to complete the assignment. ByCassette tapes were abandoned long ago, and were contrast, the weekly podcast recordings were to bereplaced by CDs. The CDs were slightly more completed over the weekend by phone at anyconvenient in terms of playback methods, but this location. The type of assignments for the podcastmethod still required the teacher to carry them from recordings were similar to the language labone location to another. Recording on computer recordings; they spoke for two minutes on suchsoftware such as Audacity in a computer language topics as comparing and contrasting different pieceslab was a common practice for the last few years. of literature, videos, or news topics.Recording student voices using this software in thecomputer lab was much more convenient and The purpose of these oral recordings was toreliable, yet still had many disadvantages. improve students’ speaking skills. To assess theRecording in a lab took valuable class time. Also, extent to which students improved the speakingthe process of recording in a lab, in the presence of skill, two rubrics were developed for the differentother students, created distraction since students types of assignments (Appendix A & B). They werecould hear each other’s voices while their own was both based on the following criteria:being recorded. Podcasting, on the other hand, • Task Completion – This refers to how well thereleased class time for more learning and made students answered the question or dealt with therecording and listening far more convenient and prompt. In other words, did they answer theinexpensive for both the teachers and the students. question or did they veer off onto another topic? • Topic Development – This criterion referred toThe gcast (www.gcast.com) was the website that how well students developed the topic of thewas used to facilitate the sharing of weekly podcasts recording. If they discussed the topic in aamong students and the teacher. Students recorded thorough and relevant way, they were ratedtheir weekly podcasts over the phone. Recordings highly. In order to receive consistently highwere then uploaded to and downloaded from this marks in this category, they also needed to:online podcasting site, where the teacher-researcher (a) have a well-organized, cohesive,had created a secure account for student use. This accurate response,account ensured the safety and privacy of the (b) synthesize the information from thestudents since it only allowed access to the sources, and not just simply restate ormembers of this closed group. The students summarize the sources, andcompleted their podcasts by calling an 800 number (c) have appropriate cultural references.associated with this website, usually on their mobileJuana & Palak 3
  • 4. Networks: Vol. 13, Issue 1 Spring 2011 • Language Use – This criterion measured their recording, they had to synthesize the three correct use of the Spanish language. In order to previously mentioned sources in their presentation receive a high grade in this category, students as well as add their own information and needed to: commentary. Because this was a formal (a) use advanced grammatical structures presentation, the AP Rubric for Presentational Oral with very few errors, Recordings (Appendix B) was used to assess this (b) include rich and precise vocabulary, type of lab or podcast recording. (c) have a high level of oral fluency with excellent pronunciation and the appropriate Informal Presentations (IP) were much shorter and use of “register,” the manner in which one used less formal speech. They were spontaneous addresses one’s audience. speeches regarding their opinion on a current event, a pseudo-phone mail message to a friend or a storyAlthough both rubrics are divided into the same they would tell regarding their vacation. Thesethree criteria, they also differ slightly. The types of recordings required a different type ofdifferences in the two rubrics reflect the differences language skill, which is more informal and casual,in the types of speech and language that are needed but nevertheless is important to languageto effectively complete the different types of development. A different rubric was necessary forassignments. The rubric in Appendix A displays this type of assignment. Therefore the AP Rubric ofthe criteria and scales of measurement that were Interpersonal Oral Recordings was used to assessused to assess “Interpersonal Oral Recordings.” these informal presentations (Appendix A).The format of these recordings was meant to imitatecasual, friendly speech. The rubric in Appendix B Simulated Conversations (SC) were assignmentswas used to assess the “Presentational Oral only completed in the language lab because theyRecordings,” which were meant to imitate much required the students to listen to an external CD asmore formal types of speeches and presentations. well as record their voices. The Simulated Conversation tried to simulate a real conversationAfter Maggie assessed each of the recordings using by having the students listen to one side of athe appropriate rubric, she returned the feedback to conversation on a CD, and then respondthe students before the next week’s assignment. individually for approximately 20 seconds.This formative assessment model allowed the Although the students were notified in advance ofstudents to use this feedback as a way to recognize the topic to be discussed, they are expected towhat they had not done well the previous week and respond spontaneously to each exchange. This typeimprove upon it for the following recording. of assignment was also considered to be informal speech and use informal language skills. ThereforeThe types of assignments given were Formal the AP Rubric of Interpersonal Oral RecordingsPresentations (FP), Informal Presentations (IP) and (Appendix A) was used here also.Simulated Conversations (SC). The FormalPresentations consisted of the students preparing for The triangulation matrix below (Table 1) displaystheir recordings by reading two written documents the major research question in relation to the criteriaand listening to one oral recording. Afterward, they for measurement and sources of data. Multiplewere given two minutes to plan their presentation. sources of data were collected to help MaggieAfter the two-minute planning time, they were examine the effects of her undertakings. In additiongiven two minutes to make an oral recording- to the two rubrics that were used to assess differentspeaking as if they were giving an oral presentation types of podcast recordings, Maggie used ato a specific audience. For example, the audience researcher’s diary and pre/post student surveys. Shecould be the School Board in their town, their used the research diary as a way of recordingSpanish class, a town hall meeting, etc. In this observations of student performance and noteTable 1: Triangulation MatrixJuana & Palak 4
  • 5. Networks: Vol. 13, Issue 1 Spring 2011 Research Question Criteria Data Sources What is the effect of • Task Completion: • Two rubrics that podcasting to help • Student fully completes the task assessed the improve student • Student refers to and integrates well speaking skill speaking abilities? outside sources into the oral presentation • Researcher’s • Topic Development: diary • Treatment of topic is relevant and thorough • Pre and Post • Response is very well organized and student survey cohesive • University • All or almost all information is accurate collaborators • Comparison and contrast of information • Student significantly outweighs summary or mere discussions quotations • Accurate social and/or cultural references included • Language Use • Use and control of complex structures; very few errors with no patterns • Rich vocabulary used with precision • High level of fluency • Excellent pronunciation • Register is highly appropriatestudents’ comments and claims about the tools subject matter of the podcast differed fromthey used. She also used the diary to record week to week, but included formalquestions or comments on the study to be later presentations (FP) based on multiple sources,discussed with Deniz. The surveys were such as newspaper articles, other podcasts,distributed both at the beginning of the short stories, and magazine articles. Informalresearch study and the end. At the beginning presentations (IP) included the expression ofof the research process, the “Pre-Research personal opinions on current events, such asStudent Survey” (Appendix C) was filled out by pseudo answering machine recordings. Forthe students in order to gauge their opinions of both of these assignments, students were giventheir abilities. The purpose of the survey was to a prompt on a specific topic and then werehave the students consider their strengths and expected to record a podcast using vocabularyweaknesses in Spanish. This survey queried related to the prompt.the students on many aspects of their Spanishabilities, including their speaking, reading, Occasionally, after making their recordings, thewriting and listening abilities, as well as their students were instructed to go back to thegrammar, their ability to express their ideas website and listen to the podcasts of theirand their anxiety in recording their voice. The classmates. Afterward, there would be a classpre-research survey gave a basis for discussion on what they learned or what theycomparison for the post-research survey heard in the podcasts of their classmates. High(Appendix D) given at the end of the school school students were extremely uncomfortableyear. with this aspect of podcasting due to the Implementation sensitive nature of one student giving their opinion of the performance of another student.Podcast recording assignments were given To help aid the process, Maggie createdevery Friday, and they were to be completed at guidelines as to what format the commentaryhome over the weekend. The format and should take. She required students to state twoJuana & Palak 5
  • 6. Networks: Vol. 13, Issue 1 Spring 2011positive comments and one constructive improved by 45 – 65% range. The other fourcriticism. Although the students found it very students have less dramatic improvements,difficult to listen and comment on to other reflecting their higher degree of ability at thestudents’ recordings, the process proved itself start of the study, continuing to the end.to be highly beneficial. The opportunity toreflect on another podcast affected their A closer examination of students’ scores alsoopinion on the quality of their own podcast. revealed an incidental finding, which MaggieWhen the students listened to themselves, they had not anticipated at the beginning of theself-evaluated how well they had answered the study. The underlying assumption to usequestions and how thoroughly they had podcasting in this particular classroom was tocompleted the assignment. When they listened simply increase the frequency of oralto others’ voices, they were able to analyze how recordings. Maggie assumed that this increasewell the other student had accomplished the would give students more opportunities totask and how thoroughly they had discussed practice Spanish, and thus help them improvethe same prompt. the speaking skill. However, the examination of results revealed that the medium of oral Results recording was just as important as the frequency of recording. When the studentsThe purpose of this study was to assess how the completed their oral recordings in the languageuse of podcasting in this high school Spanish lab via computer software, they were moreLanguage class helped improve the student’s nervous, uncomfortable, and received lowerspeaking skills in the target language. To assess grades. They made comments such as “I feelthe extent to which podcasting helped improve like everyone is listening to me,” “I can onlythe speaking skills of the students, Maggie hear Johnny talking, but I can’t hear myself!”evaluated student performances in the and “Hearing everyone else speak at the samefollowing three criteria: (1) Task Completion, time is really distracting.” However, when(2) Topic Development, and (3) Language Use. they completed their recordings via podcasts,The results of the study are reported below students produced higher quality recordings.based on these criteria. Podcasting removed distractions from the environment and put their anxieties aboutThe Task Completion criteria received the speaking a second language at ease, whichhighest ratings for all 10 students throughout supported them in receiving better grades onthe implementation of this action research their recordings.study. Task Completion refers to whether thestudent had fully addressed the task as it was Maggie shared this incidental finding with theassigned, and if they had incorporated all the students at the end of the study. None weresources that were indicated. All 10 students surprised. They were unanimous in theirscored very highly in understanding, opinions of how much the podcasting helpedcompleting, and thoroughly addressing the their speaking abilities in a positive way.topics, as well as integrating the sources into Students described how much moretheir recordings. As for the other two criteria, comfortable they were speaking into their cellTopic Completion and Language Use, the phones, in the privacy of their own homes. Theoverall improvement from the podcasting improvement of the speaking skill was evidentrecording assignments differed from student to in the student commentary. One student said,student. The improvement was most visible for “my Spanish just exploded this year.” All tensix out of the ten students. For example, who ranked their speaking ability lower thanStudent #3 started the study with 30 total the other three skills (listening, reading, andpoints on the first assignment and finished the writing) in the pre-research study (Appendixyear with a 50 on the last assignment, C), rated their speaking just as good or betterreflecting a 66% improvement for that student. than the other three skills in the post-researchIn addition to student #3, five other students survey (Appendix D).Juana & Palak 6
  • 7. Networks: Vol. 13, Issue 1 Spring 2011 was true because podcasting provided not onlyThe evidence in the data collectively pointed to additional practice but also eased studentthe fact that podcasting as a medium of digital anxiety and boosted student confidence aboutrecording technology facilitated the speaking in the target language.improvement of the speaking skill. It easedstudent anxiety about speaking in the target The Advanced Placement (AP) Spanishlanguage. In each of the data sources, the Language exam, written and administeredtheme of greater confidence in students’ nationwide by the College Board in May ofspeaking ability was repeated. In the pre- every year, provided factual support for theseresearch survey conducted with the students, findings. A comparison of the AP test scoresthe students rated their abilities in four between those students who used podcasting incategories: grammar, accent, fluidity, and May of 2009 to those who did not in theability to express their ideas. At the end of the previous two years revealed a 20 percentstudy, students rated themselves in the same increase between the two years. Thecategories. Without exception, each student podcasting group had an average score of 4.2indicated they had improved in each item. They (out of 5) in comparison to non-podcast groupcommented on the fact that doing the speaking with a 3.6 (out of 5) average.at home gave them confidence to do it in frontof others. They stated that podcasting gave Conclusionsthem the opportunity to express more complexideas in a target language rather than simply According to Schwab (1973), there are fouranswering classroom questions for more than commonplaces of educating – Teaching,just a few sentences. One student said, “Before Learning, Curriculum and Social Matrix, whichI spoke very haltingly, now I feel like I am more later will be referred to as Governance. Schwabfluid and can express my ideas better.” believed that each commonplace was a piece ofAnother student said, “podcasting helped me the educating puzzle, together forming thegreatly with things like transition words, shared experience of the teacher, student, andmaking my speech more connected and social milieu. Like many others (Gowin, 1981;smooth.” Overall, it was a very positive Gowin & Alvarez, 2005; Novak & Gowin, 1984;experience, which they highly recommended to Novak, 1998; Novak, 2010), we used thesebe incorporated into all the classes for next commonplaces as a “check list” to explain andyear. understand the effectiveness our intervention: use of podcasting in this second languageMaggie’s journal entries taken in the midst of classroom.the research process indicated her doubts as tothe effectiveness of podcast recordings aiding Commonplace #1 - Teachingthe student’s speaking abilities. Here are some As a language teacher, Maggie had beenexamples of those comments that reflected her puzzled by the challenges involved in teachingdoubts during the research process: “How will I the speaking skill. Historically, speaking wasbe able to compare the results of these the lowest scoring section of all thestudents, if the improvement I see is simply standardized tests that her students took overdue to the increase in frequency of recordings, the course of their high school years. As aand not the act of podcasting itself?” “Is result, she decided to use podcasting as arecording your voice over the phone in the means of increasing the frequency of oralprivacy of a bedroom truly a realistic way of recordings and student practice of the speakingpracticing speaking in Spanish?” But after the skill. Because students completed the podcastspost-research study survey and extensive assignments at home or elsewhere at one’s ownconversations with the students and Deniz, the pace, it freed class time for other valuableteacher-researcher confidently arrived at the language work and increased the frequency ofconclusion that podcasting was beneficial to student oral practice. Also, podcasting, as aimproving the Spanish speaking abilities. This medium of oral recording, has been found to beJuana & Palak 7
  • 8. Networks: Vol. 13, Issue 1 Spring 2011more beneficial to the students compared to Commonplace #3 - Curriculumother traditional media. It suited the life style The incorporation of podcasting has been soof the Millennial Generation, eased student successful, convenient and inexpensive, that itanxiety about speaking in the target language, has clearly changed the speaking aspect of thisand facilitated self-reflection and advanced Spanish curriculum. Through thisimprovement. study, Maggie is now able to move away from just hoping the students could express theirCommonplace #2 - Learning ideas coherently by the end of the year, to being able to “tweak” their speaking skills to improveThrough the student completion of weekly them in specific ways. Rather than listening forpodcast assignments, receiving formative grammar errors twice monthly as done in thefeedback about their work, and classroom past, the teacher-researcher is now able todiscussions of the podcasting assignments, apply the appropriate, specific rubric to thestudents were able to improve their speaking weekly recording assignment. This increase inskills on a continuous basis. They were able to frequency as well as the addition of the detaileddiscuss techniques that aided them in rubric has changed the way speaking is taught.speaking, and they were able to employ those Rather than being the most difficult secondtechniques the following week in the next language skill, it has become the skill that isassignment. The students indicated that clarity most improved. Maggie’s teaching curriculumin the assessment criteria delineated in the now includes weekly podcasts.rubrics and classroom discussions on thepodcasts assignments guided them in the areaswhere they needed to improve. Students were Commonplace #4- Governanceable to see that they accomplished the task, but This study positively affectedthat they still needed to incorporate one or two communication and collaboration betweensub-areas associated with a criterion. The Maggie and her students, as well as Maggie andprocess of formative assessment guided them her colleagues at school. We shared, analyzed,to know where they were and what and made sense of the data together. We wereimprovement was needed for the following able to “unpack” what it is that we were tryingassignment. to improve and how we progressed in improve it. The improvement of student scores on theThe medium of oral recording, podcasting, Advanced Placement exam at the end of theproved also to be thoroughly enjoyable to the year came as a by-product of our conversationsstudents. The privacy of the podcasting at and efforts.home greatly improved their confidence levelabout speaking in the target language. By Implicationsproving to themselves that they could do it athome alone, they were more confident and less As a result of this action research project,nervous to speak in class. Students greatly Maggie will incorporate podcasting into everyimproved their accent and pronunciation - level of Spanish taught. On a more personalindicated by both their self-assessments as well note, she has found success lay not only on theas the teacher assessments. Podcasting allowed technology used in the classroom but also inthe students to speak for a full two minutes many of the techniques incorporated in thecomfortably about a topic, rather than what course of this inquiry. Pre-determining andwas typical done in class, which was to answer communicating the criteria for success witha question in only a few sentences. This students was one. Sharing data obtained onextended amount of speaking time, coupled student performance on these criteria and theirwith the comfort and ease of this medium, opinions was another. For example, presentinghelped students improve fluency and their student progress in graphs and sharing thisability to express themselves. visual data representation with students was a very powerful motivator to show students theirJuana & Palak 8
  • 9. Networks: Vol. 13, Issue 1 Spring 2011growth in specific areas. In the future, students http://www.iadis.net/dl/final_uploads/2will be given their own personal graph at the 00711L040.pdfend of the year showing them their http://74.125.155.132/scholar?improvement or lack thereof. q=cache:Hom5JIyJdJoJ:scholar.google.c om/+podcasting+history&hl=enIf this study were to be repeated, Maggie wouldcontinue to integrate the different formats of Fontichiaro, K. (2007). Podcasting 101. Schooloral recordings such as Formal Presentations, Library Media Activities Monthly . 23Informal Presentations and Simulated (7),22-24.Conversations. Yet, in order to effectivelycompare the results of each format, there needs Frantzen, D., Magnan, S. (2005). Anxiety andto be more consistency in the total number of the true beginner-false beginner dynamicassignments in each category. Additionally, all in beginning French and Spanishassignments could be labeled in a more clear classes. Foreign Language Annals,fashion, so as to be able to refer to them more 38(2), 171-190.easily when analyzing the data. Finally, Maggiewill be better prepared to deal with Horwitz, E., Horwitz, M. & Cope, J. (1986).technological problems experienced from time Foreign language classroom anxiety. Theto time due to the open-source podcasting Modern Language Journal . 70(2), 125 –technology used in this study. Although 132.gcast.com as an open-source free podcastingtechnology, it was no longer available as of Feb. Johnson, S. (2008). Technology takes students1st, 2010. There are numerous other podcasting beyond the classroom. The Languagewebsites, such as podbean.com, Educator 3(6), 38-40.mypodcast.com and lifehacker.com, which areavailable for use. Lee, M., McLoughlin, C., & Chan, A. (2008). Talk the talk: Learner-generated podcastsMaggie is continuing her research in how to as catalysts for knowledge creation.create more effective and well-designed British Journal of Educationalpodcasts. As Villano (2008) stated, “while Technology, 39(3), 501-521.anyone can podcast, creating podcasts withtrue academic value can be tough.” Further Lim, K. (2005). Now hear this: Exploringconcentration will be made in the future on podcasting as a tool in geographyimproving the assignments to make them even education. Nanyang Technologicalmore student-centered and formative in University. Retrieved from the web onorientation. Students will listen to each other’s September 26, 2009podcasts far more often; group podcasts will be http://homepage.mac.com/voyager/brisbrecorded - leading to group discussions; and ane_kenlim.pdfadditional genres of podcasts will be included, http://74.125.155.132/scholar?such as mock radio shows, music recordings or q=cache:znE-6TseFQUJ:scholar.google.cskits. The possibilities for podcasting in a om/+podcasting+history&hl=ensecond language classroom are only limited bythe creativity and willingness of the teacher. Lord, G. (2008). Podcasting communities and second language pronunciation. Foreign References Language Annals, 41(2), 364-79.Cruz, S.C., Carvalho, A.A. (2007). Podcast: A Lum, L. (2006) Language, culture & powerful web tool for learning history. technology. Diverse Issues in Higher Proceedings of the IADIS International Education 23(16), 31-32. Conference on E-Learning. Retrieved on September 26, 2009 from Gowin, B.D. (1981). Educating. Ithaca, N.Y.:Juana & Palak 9
  • 10. Networks: Vol. 13, Issue 1 Spring 2011 Cornell University Press. Technology, 34,. (3), 215.Gowin, B.D. & Alvarez, M.C. (2005). The art of Pichette, F. (2009). Second language anxiety educating with V diagrams. New York, and distance language learning. Foreign N.Y.: Cambridge University Press. Language Annals. 42, (1), 77.McNiff, J., Lomax, P. & Whitehead, J. (2003). Piecka, D., Studnicki, E. & Zuckerman-Parker, You and your action research project, 2nd M. (2008). A proposal for ozone science Ed. Routledge Falmer. podcasting in a middle science classroom. AACE Journal. 16 (2),Novak, J.D. & Gowin, B.D. (1984). Learning 203-233. Chesapeake, VA: AACE. how to learn. New York, Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org/p/ N.Y.:Cambridge University Press. 24433Novak, J. D. (1998). Learning, creating, and using knowledge: Concept maps as Putman, S. M., Kingsley, T. (2009). The atoms facilitative tools in schools and family: Using podcasts to enhance the corporations. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence development of science vocabulary. The Erlbaum Associates. Reading Teacher. 63(2),100-108.Novak, J.D. (2010). Learning, creating, and Ractham, P., Zhang, X. (2006) Podcasting in using knowledge: Concept maps as academia: A new knowledge management facilitative tools in schools and paradigm within academic settings. The corporations. New York, N.Y.: DATA BASE for Advances in Information Routledge. Systems, 13(15), 314-317.Oliver, K., Osborne, J., & Brady,K. (2009). Schwab, J. (1973). The practical 3: Translation What are secondary students’ into curriculum. School Review expectations for teachers in virtual school 81(4),501-522. environments? Distance Education, 30(1), 23-45. Villano, M. (2008). Building a better podcast. THE Journal, 35(1), 30-37.Ormond, P. (2008). Podcasting enhances learning. Journal of Computing Sciences Young, D. (1990). An investigation of students’ in Colleges, 24(1), 232-258. perspectives on anxiety and speaking. Foreign Language Annals, 23(6),Parson, V. (2009). Educating an IPod 539-553. generation: undergraduate attitudes, experiences and understanding of vodcast and podcast use. Learning, Media andJuana & Palak 10
  • 11. Networks: Vol. 13, Issue 1 Spring 2011Appendix A: AP RUBRIC FOR INTERPERSONAL ORAL RECORDINGS* SCORE DESCRIPTION TASK TOPIC LANGUAGE USE COMPLETION DEVELOPMENT 5 HIGH ● Fully addresses ● Relevant, thorough ● Use and control of A speech sample and completes treatment of complex structures, that demonstrates the task all/almost all very few errors excellence in ● Responds fully elements of the ● Rich vocabulary Interpersonal and thread of the used with precision Speaking appropriately to conversation ● High level of accomplishes the all or almost all ● Very well-organized fluency following: of the and cohesive ● Excellent parts/prompts of responses pronunciation the conversation ● Accurate social ● Register is highly and/or cultural appropriate references included 4 MID-HIGH ● Appropriately ● Relevant, well- ● Use of complex A speech sample addresses and developed treatment structures, but may that demonstrates completes the of the elements of contain more than command in task the thread of the a few errors Interpersonal ● Responds conversation ● Very good Speaking appropriately to ● Well-organized and vocabulary accomplishes the all or almost all generally cohesive ● Very good fluency following: of the responses ● Very good parts/prompts of ● Generally accurate pronunciation the conversation social and/or ● Register is cultural references appropriate included 3 MID ● Addresses and . ● Relevant treatment ● Control of simple A speech sample completes the of the elements of structures, with that demonstrates task the thread of the few errors competence in ● Responds conversation ● Good range of Interpersonal adequately to ● Organized vocabulary, but Speaking most responses with may have accomplishes the parts/prompts of adequate interference from following: the conversation cohesiveness another language ● Generally ● Good fluency with appropriate social occasional and/or cultural hesitance references included ● Good pronunciation ● Register is generally appropriateJuana & Palak 11
  • 12. Networks: Vol. 13, Issue 1 Spring 2011 2 MID-LOW ● Partially . ● May have ● Limited control of A speech sample addressees irrelevant treatment simple structures, that suggests lack of and/or of the elements of with errors competence in completes the the thread of the ● Narrow range of Interpersonal task conversation vocabulary Speaking can be ● Responds ● Responses may ● Labored described as the inappropriately have inadequate expression, following: to some organization minimal fluency parts/prompts of ● Inaccurate social ● Fair pronunciation the conversation and/or cultural which may affect references may be comprehension included ● Register inappropriate 1 LOW ● Does not ● Irrelevant treatment ● Frequent errors in A speech sample complete the of the elements of use of structures that demonstrates task. the thread of the ● Few vocabulary lack of competence ● Responds conversation resources in Interpersonal inappropriately ● Responses may be ● Little to no fluency Speaking can be to most disorganized ● Poor pronunciation described as the parts/prompts of ● Inaccurate social impedes following: the and/or cultural comprehension conversations references included ● Minimal to no attention to register 0 A speech sample that receives this score may be blank, off-task, completely irrelevant to the topic, spoken in a language other than Spanish or a mere verbatim restatement of what the interlocutor has said.* Courtesy of the College Board, AP Spanish LanguageJuana & Palak 12
  • 13. Networks: Vol. 13, Issue 1 Spring 2011Appendix B: AP RUBRIC FOR PRESENTATIONAL ORAL RECORDINGSSCORE DESCRIPTION TASK COMPLETION TOPIC LANGUAGE USE DEVELOPMENT 5 HIGH ● Fully addresses and ● Treatment of topic ● Use and control of A speech completes the task is relevant and complex structures; sample that ● Refers to and thorough very few errors with no demonstrates integrates well both ● Response is very patterns excellence in sources into the oral well organized and ● Rich vocabulary used Presentational presentation. cohesive with precision Speaking ● All or almost all ● High level of fluency accomplishes information is ● Excellent the following: accurate pronunciation ● Comparison and ● Register is highly contrast of appropriate information significantly outweighs summary or mere quotations ● Accurate social and/or cultural references included 4 MID-HIGH ● Appropriately ● Treatment of topic ● Use of complex A speech addresses and is relevant and well structures; but may sample that completes the task developed contain more than a demonstrates ● Refers to and ● Response is well few errors command in integrates both organized and ● Very good vocabulary Presentational sources into the oral generally cohesive ● Very good fluency Speaking presentation. ● Information is ● Very good accomplishes generally accurate pronunciation the following: ● Comparison and ● Register is appropriate contrast of information outweighs summary or mere quotations 3 MID ● Addresses and ● Treatment of topic ● Control of simple A speech completes the task is relevant structures with few sample that ● Integrates one of the ● Response is errors; may use demonstrates sources into the oral organized with complex structures competence in presentation, with adequate with little or no control Presentational some or little cohesiveness ● Good range of Speaking reference to the other ● Information is vocabulary, but may accomplishes source. generally accurate, have occasional the following: although there may interference from be some another language inaccuracy or lack ● Good fluency with of precision occasional hesitance; ● Summary or mere some successful self- quotations of correction information may ● Good pronunciation outweigh ● Register is generally comparison and appropriate contrast. ● Generally appropriate social and/or cultural references includedJuana & Palak 13
  • 14. Networks: Vol. 13, Issue 1 Spring 2011 2 MID-LOW ● Partially addressees ● Treatment of topic ● Limited control of A speech and/or completes the may be irrelevant simple structures, with sample that task ● Response may be errors suggests lack of ● May refer to only one inadequately ● Narrow range of competence in of the sources into organized vocabulary; frequent Presentational the oral presentation ● Information may interference from Speaking can be limited or another language may be described as inaccurate occur the following: ● There is little ● Labored expression; comparison and minimal fluency contrast of the ● Fair pronunciation, information. may affect ● Inaccurate social comprehension and/or cultural ● Register may be references may be appropriate included 1 LOW ● Does not complete ● Treatment of topic ● Frequent errors in use A speech the task. is irrelevant of structures sample that ● Refers poorly to only ● Response is ● Few vocabulary demonstrates one of the sources disorganized resources; constant lack of into the oral ● Information is very interference from competence in presentation. limited and mainly another language Presentational inaccurate ● Little to no fluency Speaking can ● There may be no ● Poor pronunciation be described as comparison and impedes the following: contrast of the comprehension information. ● Minimal to no ● Inaccurate social attention to register and/or cultural references included 0 A speech sample that receives this score may be blank, off-task, completely irrelevant to the topic, spoken in a language other than Spanish or a mere verbatim restatement of what the interlocutor has said.* Courtesy of the College Board, AP Spanish LanguageJuana & Palak 14
  • 15. Networks: Vol. 13, Issue 1 Spring 2011Appendix C: Name: ________________________ Pre-Research Study Student SurveyDirections: Please answer the following questions to the best of your ability, evaluating yourself on a scaleof 1 – 10. Please remember that your participation in this survey is entirely voluntary, and will only be usedfor the purposes of the Action Research Study.On a scale of 1 – 10, with 1 being terrible, 5 being average and 10 being outstanding, how would youdescribe: 1. Your grammar in Spanish (either written or spoken) ______ 2. Your accent and pronunciation in Spanish ______ 3. Your ability to comfortably express your ideas in Spanish ______ 4. Your fluidity or rate of speech ______On a scale of 1 – 10, with 1 being not at all nervous, 5 being averagely nervous and 10 being extremelynervous, how would you rate the following? 1. How do you feel about speaking out loud in Spanish? ______ 2. How do you feel about recording your voice in Spanish? ______ 3. How do you feel about listening to your voice recording? ______ 3. How nervous do you think everyone else in the class is? ______ 4. How nervous are you to listen to other student’s recordings? ______ 5. How nervous are you to do any type of public speaking, in either your native language or Spanish? ______If you had to give yourself an overall rating of your abilities, with 1 being very limited, 5 being average and10 being extremely talented, what number would you assign the following general categories? 1. Speaking ______ 2. Listening ______ 3. Writing ______ 4. Reading ______Please go onto next page.Juana & Palak 15
  • 16. Networks: Vol. 13, Issue 1 Spring 2011Have you had any experience speaking Spanish to a native speaker? Yes________ * No ________ * If yes, when did you have this experience and how long did it last?Have you ever traveled to a Spanish speaking country? Yes ______ * No ______ * If yes, how much time did you spend there?Do you have any other foreign language experience, other than Spanish? Please explain.Do you consider yourself a creative person in any way?Thank you for your participation.Juana & Palak 16
  • 17. Networks: Vol. 13, Issue 1 Spring 2011Appendix D: Post Research Study Student Self Evaluation of Spanish Speaking SkillsDirections: Now that our research study is over, please take a few minutes to evaluate your speaking skills inSpanish. Please remember that your participation in this survey is entirely voluntary and will only be usedfor the purpose of our action research study. 1. Do you feel your Spanish accent and pronunciation has improved since Sept. of 2008? Yes No If yes, please indicate on a scale of 1 – 10 how much you think they have improved, with 1 being a very slight improvement, 5 being average or customary yearly improvement and 10 being extremely improved. Circle the appropriate number. 1 23 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2. Do you feel your Spanish grammar and vocabulary has improved (within the speaking skill) since Sept. of 2008? Yes No If yes, please indicate on a scale of 1 – 10 how much you think they have improved, with 1 being a very slight improvement, 5 being average or customary yearly improvement and 10 being extremely improved. Circle the appropriate number. 1 23 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3. Do you feel your Spanish fluidity or rate of speech has improved since Sept. of 2008? Yes No If yes, please indicate on a scale of 1 – 10 how much you think they have improved, with 1 being a very slight improvement, 5 being average or customary yearly improvement and 10 being extremely improved. Circle the appropriate number. 1 23 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4. Do you feel your Spanish ability to express your ideas has improved since Sept. of 2008?Juana & Palak 17
  • 18. Networks: Vol. 13, Issue 1 Spring 2011 Yes No If yes, please indicate on a scale of 1 – 10 how much you think they have improved, with 1 being a very slight improvement, 5 being average or customary yearly improvement and 10 being extremely improved. Circle the appropriate number. 1 23 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5. Overall, do you feel your Spanish speaking abilities have improved since September of 2008? Yes No If yes, please indicate on a scale of 1 – 10 how much you think it has improved, with 1 being a very slight improvement, 5 being average or customary yearly improvement and 10 being extremely improved. Circle the appropriate number. 1 23 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6. Do you have any other comments?Juana & Palak 18

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