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Article

Abstract

This paper reports on an investigation of podcasting as a tool for honing pronunciation skills in intermediate language learning. We examined the effects of using podcasts to improve pronunciation in second language learning and how students' attitudes changed toward pronunciation over the semester. A total of 22 students in intermediate German and French courses made five scripted pronunciation recordings throughout the semester. After the pronunciation recordings, students produced three extemporaneous podcasts. Students also completed a pre- and post-survey based on Elliott's (1995) Pronunciation Attitude Inventory to assess their perspectives regarding pronunciation. Students' pronunciation, extemporaneous recordings, and surveys were analyzed to explore changes over the semester. Data analysis revealed that students' pronunciation did not significantly improve in regard to accentedness or comprehensibility, perhaps because the 16-week long treatment was too short to foster significant improvement and there was no in-class pronunciation practice. The podcast project, however, was perceived positively by students, and they appreciated the feedback given for each scripted recording and enjoyed opportunities for creativity during the extemporaneous podcasts. Future studies might seek to delineate more specific guidelines or examine how teacher involvement might be adapted to the use of podcasts as a companion to classroom instruction.

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