Developing Speaking Skills Via Creating And Using Learner Podcasts In English Language Classes
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This dissertation aims to assess the effectiveness of the use of learner podcasts in English language classes as an innovative technology-based instructional tool to develop EFL learners’ speaking skills. This study investigated the viewpoints of EFL students on using and creating learner podcasts to improve their speaking skills. The study also examined whether there are any significant differences among participants’ views with respect to their demographic features (gender and learning period) in creating and using learner podcasts to develop their speaking skills. Furthermore, the study explored to what extent learner-produced podcasts help EFL students to develop their speaking skills. The data were collected through a student questionnaire distributed to 90 students, interviews conducted with 33 students and a pre-and post-speaking tests administered to students studying in the Preparatory School at Hacettepe University. The data gathered from all instruments were analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively. Findings revealed that EFL students have positive viewpoints on using and creating learner podcasts to develop their speaking skills. In addition, the students believe that learner podcasts are highly beneficial to improving their speaking skills. Moreover, statistically significant differences in students’ viewpoints about the use of learner podcasts to develop their speaking skills based on gender and their previous learning experience were found. As regards the effectiveness of learner podcasts as a supplementary instructional tool, the data gathered from pre- and posttests showed that creating learner podcasts had a significant effect on learners’ speaking skill improvement.