Integrating Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) technology (personal multimedia players, cell phones, and handheld devices) into the foreign language curriculum is becoming commonplace in many secondary and higher education institutions. Current research has identified both pedagogically sound applications and important benefits to students. In this paper, we present the results of an initial study which compares the academic benefits of integrating podcasts into the curriculum against using them as a supplemental/review tool. The study’s findings indicate that when instructors use podcasts for multiple instructional purposes (e.g., to critique student projects and exams, for student video presentations, for student paired interviews, to complete specific assignments, dictations, in roundtable discussions, or for guest lectures), students are more likely to use this technology and to report academic benefits. While the study is limited by small sample sizes and by some within-group variation in instructional techniques, the study provides initial evidence that podcast technology has the potential to provide greater benefits if it is used more than simply as a tool for reviewing. The study’s positive findings indicate that additional research to examine the effects of specific instructional uses of podcast technology is merited.
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