W.M. Chan, S.W. Chi, I.R. Chen

National University of Singapore (SINGAPORE)
Since podcasting was first introduced around 2003, this medium has quickly established itself and attracted a worldwide audience of 17.4 million users by 2008. This number is predicted to increase to 37.6 million by 2013. Mirroring this steep climb in the size of its potential audience is its rapidly increasing use as an educational medium, in particular, in the domain of language learning. Efforts in materials development and language education research have thus far focused mostly on audio podcasting, despite the fact that the growing proliferation of sophisticated mobile devices with video capability has also made video podcasting (vodcasting) a viable teaching/learning option. Research conducted by the authors (e.g. Chan, Chi, Chin, & Lin, 2010; Chi & Chan, 2011) has also revealed that foreign language learners would like to see the increased use of video materials in their course podcasts.

Given that the use of vodcasting is still a fairly recent development and that pedagogy usually lags behind the rapid advances in technology, it is not surprising that little research has thus far been done on the use of this medium in foreign language learning. There are as yet little empirically supported insights into the pedagogical design and use of vodcasts or students’ preferences and perceptions with regard to this medium. This presentation outlines the design and development of vodcasts for German and Korean language learners at a university in Singapore as well as the findings of an empirical study based on a mixed research design employing a questionnaire consisting of quantitative and qualitative items, and focus group discussions. It will report on the insights achieved into students’ readiness for vodcast learning (e.g. availability of computer and Internet resources, and prior learning experience), vodcast access and usage, and perceptions of the vodcasts’ design and usefulness. It is hoped that the findings from the project will contribute to the development of pedagogical theories for vodcasting and the design of effective vodcasts for foreign language learning.