Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Hsu, Pi-Sui

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment (ETRA)


Similar to other types of mobile technologies, podcasts are believed to provide many advantages for language instruction, including English as a second language (ESL) learners’ listening skills and pronunciation and changes in their self-efficacy from using the podcasts for learning ESL. The convergent parallel mixed methods design used Mayer’s cognitive theory of multimedia learning and Bandura’s self-efficacy as foundations. It used 11 different instruments to collect quantitative data and qualitative data from two sections of an upper-intermediate ESL class at one university in Midwest United States. Quantitative data were collected using a pre-test, a post-test, and the note taking quizzes from the two sections. Pre-questionnaires and post-questionnaires to identify the change in students’ self-efficacy on using podcasts to learn ESL and to identify students’ technology usage were also collected at the beginning and at the end of the study, respectively. Additionally, students’ log-in frequency to the podcasts was also collected. Qualitative data were collected by conducting observations and interviewing six students and two instructors. One more instrument, which was the podcast evaluation survey, provided both quantitative and qualitative data.

The results of this study support previous literature that podcasts as supplementary learning material are effective tools for improving students’ language skills: listening, speaking, pronunciation, note-taking, and vocabulary. The study provides practical information for instructors/teachers regarding how to use podcasts for language teaching. Self-efficacy and motivation were found to be important factors for building students’ learning habits. Additionally, assigning students to listen to the podcasts outside of the classroom using their own devices promoted students’ confidence.


246 pages




Northern Illinois University

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