Hiroshima Studies in Language and Language Education Issue 13
2010-03-31 発行


Using Original English Learning Podcasts in Classrooms
In this paper, a classroom practice using Hiroshima University's English Podcast and the survey results are reported. The research was conducted in Enokida's "Communication IIB", an English listening course, in 2008. The class consisted of 50 first-year students from the Faculty of Engineering, Hiroshima University, most of whom were not familiar with learning English using ICT (Information and Communication Technologies). To make up for two lessons (180 minutes in total) missing from 15 required lessons during a semester, students were given about 50 days to listen to the episodes they like from Hiroshima University's English Podcast for at least 180 minutes outside the classroom, and submit a paper and fill in a questionnaire.

The results of this classroom practice are reported, especially focusing on the students' feedback in the questionnaire. They can be concluded as follows: 1) Most students found learning while using podcasting to be a new experience, and they felt podcasts were a useful tool. They were more or less happy with using podcasts. 2) As this practice was conducted in a short period of time (50 days), some students could not feel the effects of learning with podcasts. 3) Most of them listened to the podcasts on a PC, which means that the push-style of podcasting did not function well enough as a "pacemaker" for learning.

From this classroom practice, the following questions arise: 1) Would the students have been more motivated if ESP materials, like technical English, had been provided? 2) Would it make a difference if a longitudinal study were conducted, in which students learned with podcasts for several months? 3) Would students become comfortable with using podcasts if they were used in every class, not just for a short-term assignment?
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