Date of Award

1-1-2009

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Foreign Languages and Literatures

First Advisor

Thibeault, Thomas

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a study using podcasting in a first semester Spanish course and its benefits on students' ability to differentiate between verbs `ser' and `estar'. Podcasts are digital media files that are distributed over the Internet, in this case iTunes U, using syndication feeds for playback on computers and portable media devices. Some pedagogical benefits to podcasting are its unique distribution process and the portability of the instructional material. In this study, students in one first semester Spanish class listen to one podcast per week focusing on a different area of `ser' and `estar' that is directly related to class material covered during that week while students in the other first semester Spanish class receive a written assignment instead. This study compares the effectiveness of podcasts in teaching students to differentiate between the verbs 'ser' and 'estar' and the benefit of increased enthusiasm for foreign language learning as a result of the podcasts. The results from the study show that podcasts have a positive effect on students' ability to differentiate between `ser' and `estar' and students enjoy using podcasts and feel they are improving their Spanish language skills as a result of using them. The results of this study imply that podcasting can have a positive effect as a foreign language learning tool.

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