Project in detail - Charles Humblet
Leveraging off-the-shelf language podcasts: how do ability, opportunity and motivation drive beginner language students to use online media outside the classroom? ...return to abstract
The current generation of students is sometimes described as digital natives (as opposed to their digital immigrant teachers)(M. Prensky, 2001). Students from the iPod Generation are very likely to carry with them an iPod, an mp3 player or a smart phone, capable of playing sound or video.
Podcasting, as a form of distributing audio and video resources, has gained in popularity in the last five years to a point where there is now an abundance of language learning resources available freely on the web. This represents a “renaissance of audio” (Edirisingha, Hawkridge, & Fothergill, 2009) where professional publishers have now been joined by teachers creating and distributing their own content and students generating content as learning tools. Pedagogical models (Rosell-Aguilar, 2007) are sought in order to integrate them into learning and teaching in a university context.
This study will only look at off-the-shelf (OTS) podcasts designed for language learning. Language podcasts represent one of the most popular categories in iTunes, the predominant content management system for podcasting.
Do the characteristics of these language learning podcasts make them suitable to be considered as learning objects (Ralph & Olsen, 2007) for beginner language students at university?
Do students have the devices and the confidence to use them effectively? Do students see these mobile devices solely as entertainment tools or are they prepared to use them as a learning tools as well?
Does instrumental or integrative motivation for language learning (Gardner, Dörnyei, & Schmidt, 2007) (Wen, 1997)play a role in students’ use of extra-curricular online materials such as these podcasts?
The overall aim of the study is, through the development of a typology and an evaluation instrument, to assist academics to “exhibit digital wisdom” (Marc Prensky, 2009) in the task of recommending appropriate language podcasts to their students, as well as helping to integrate existing language podcasts into their curriculum.
This study will review the literature on podcasting in higher eduction, language learning motivation, mobile learning, and learning objects.
This study will explore student perspectives of extra-curricular online materials, focusing on beginners’ language podcasts. A survey of First Year Beginner students in French and in Japanese (the two most popular foreign languages at the University of Sydney) will attempt to establish students' use of podcasts in general and of language learning podcast in particular. This survey will be followed-up by a focus group of selected students as well as with interviews of teachers in classes where students are using language podcasts. The research will attempt to establish a correlation between different factors such as type of motivation for language learning, ownership of devices, self-efficacy, opportunity and actual use of language podcasts. Finally, this research will examine any correlation between characteristics of language podcasts and their perceived usefulness.
Edirisingha, P., Hawkridge, D., & Fothergill, J. (2009). A renaissance of audio: Podcasting approaches for learning on campus and beyond.
Gardner, R. C., Dörnyei, Z., & Schmidt, R. (2007). Motivation and second language acquisition. Porta Linguarum, 8, 9–20.
Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the horizon, 9(5), 1–6.
Prensky, M. (2009). H. Sapiens Digital: From Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom. Innovate Journal of Online Education, 5(3). Retrieved from http://innovateonline.info/pdf/vol5_issue3/H._Sapiens_Digital-__From_Digital_Immigrants_and_Digital_Natives_to_Digital_Wisdom.pdf
Ralph, J., & Olsen, S. (2007). Podcasting as an Educational Building Block in Academic Libraries. Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 38(4), 270-279.
Rosell-Aguilar, F. (2007). Top of the Pods-In Search of a Podcasting" Podagogy" for Language Learning. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 20(5), 471–492.
Wen, X. (1997). Motivation and language learning with students of Chinese. Foreign Language Annals, 30(2), 235–251.