Podcasting language

Jun 14, 2010

English is increasingly the lingua franca (as it were) of commerce, the internet, science, indeed many areas of human endeavor. Learning English is critical to international success for countless individuals in non-English speaking countries. As mobile technologies have matured so have the possibilities for learning. Researchers in Australia and Taiwan suggest that podcasting could be used to foster a positive attitude in learning English as a foreign language.

Writing in the latest issue of the International Journal of Mobile Communications, Peter O'Neill of the Faculty of Business and Economics at Monash University, Victoria, and colleagues at the National Chung Hsing University, in Taichung, suggest that enthusiasm for mobile technologies could make learning more attractive. "With the improvement of mobile devices, mobile learning can be applied to all mobile devices, including smart phones, PDAs, laptops, netbooks, tablet PCs, mp3 players and so on," the researchers say. Indeed, previous researchers have demonstrated just how effective the use of such technologies in teaching and learning can be.

A podcast is a digital recording, usually of a broadcast service, made available over the web or via a free subscription service to a portable device capable of playing audio or video files. Podcasts have become very popular in the US and elsewhere. However, while Taiwan has a relatively sophisticated blogging community, podcasting has been somewhat limited to business use. The researchers have investigated several variables - age, gender, technological experience and willingness - to see whether podcasting for language learning might be quickly adopted in Taiwan.

Their results show that while podcasting will be a different experience, the factors which influence technology adoption are still important, but at the moment potential users do not completely understand whether applying podcasting in learning language is a good idea or not.

"The complexities of a system and the supporting resources have generally been important issues when applying new technology. For podcasts, the operation is intuitive, and the software and hardware requirements are low. A challenge for the future is thus how to keep the operation easy and the resource requirements low," the team says.

Explore further: Sharing knowledge positively impacts innovation in retail, study says

More information: "Technology adoption of mobile learning: a study of podcasting" in Int. J. Mobile Commun., 2010, 8, 468-485.

Related Stories

IBM Technology Improves English Speaking Skills

Oct 26, 2006

Researchers at IBM's India Research Laboratory today announced that they have developed a Web-based, interactive language technology to help people who speak English as a second language improve their speaking skills.

Author interview: Podcasting biz (Update)

Sep 10, 2005

The growing popularity of the Internet-based broadcast medium known as podcasting is finding its way into businesses that are looking for new methods to reach consumers.

Realtors join podcasting craze

Oct 19, 2005

Rock bands use them. Pornographers have made them too. Even politicians and governments are joining the craze. So while it may seem unusual at first, it's really only logical that Realtors may be the latest group joining ...

Breathing second life into language teaching

Oct 09, 2008

An international team has developed a wireless virtual reality environment that can help promote language learning and let students practice. The researchers have demonstrated their Collaborative Virtual Reality Environment ...

Recommended for you

Lady, you're on the money

Jul 03, 2015

So far, women whose portraits appear on U.S. money have been a party of three. Excluding commemorative currency, only Sacagawea, Susan B. Anthony and Helen Keller appear on coins in general circulation, according ...

Old World monkey had tiny, complex brain

Jul 03, 2015

The brain hidden inside the oldest known Old World monkey skull has been visualized for the first time. The creature's tiny but remarkably wrinkled brain supports the idea that brain complexity can evolve ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.