This chapter explores current and potential pedagogical applications of academic podcasting in K-12 and higher education language learning classrooms. In order to fulfill the purpose of the chapter, it is composed of three primary sections: (1) Where we’ve been - a review of published research on podcasting; (2) Where we are - an investigation of what current teachers and researchers are doing with podcasting in their language classes based on survey results; and (3) Where we’re going - an assessment of future trends and applications. After reading the chapter, the reader should be eager to continue to explore the applications of academic podcasting in the language classroom.
Where We’Ve Been: Documented Research On Podcasting
The latest edition (3rd) of the Oxford English Dictionary defines podcasting as “a digital recording of a broadcast” that is typically “made available on the web for downloading to a computer or personal audio player” (Simpson, 2009). Podcasting is considered a Web 2.0 tool which can be used in ways that are dynamic, collaborative, and interactive. In fact, the dynamic nature of podcasting is linked with any audio or video file that listeners can download and play on a digital player (Barsky & Lindstrom, 2008). The use of audio in language learning itself is not particularly new or innovative; however, Web 2.0 tools take advantage of existing technologies or platforms and use them to do more and different tasks, as will be discussed in this chapter. While the use of audio in language learning is well documented, research on podcasting has only recently begun to appear in the literature. This section, in order to pave the way to where we are now, addresses the research that has already documented, including reports on previously implemented podcasting projects and some of the more empirical results of podcasting research.