Academic journal article International Forum of Teaching and Studies

Implementing Podcasts and Blogs with ESOL Teacher Candidates' Preparation: Interpretations and Implications

Academic journal article International Forum of Teaching and Studies

Implementing Podcasts and Blogs with ESOL Teacher Candidates' Preparation: Interpretations and Implications

Article excerpt

[Abstract]

This in-depth case study of three ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) teacher candidates investigates questions regarding their actions, attitudes, and perceptions toward the instructional uses of podcasts and blogs in a core assignment. This study reveals how they integrate these new instructional technology media while developing a case study for a specific English language learner (ELL) in a real-life classroom context. In this qualitative study, data sources include observations, research field notes, interviews, emails, dialogue, and a pre-term anonymous survey. Valuable results from this study include insight into transformative changes in ESOL teacher candidates' attitudes and perceptions, developing teacher professional identity while practicing innovative instructional technology, professional development, language teaching and instructional technology with digital-age children, and pedagogical reports for ELL classroom application. The educational significance includes, but is not limited to providing research-based podcasting practices for ESOL teacher candidates and ELL learners.

[Keywords] ESOL teacher education; teacher pre-service, podcasting and blogging; ESOL teacher candidates' preparation; ESOL; ELL; technology integration in higher education; core assignments

Introduction

Innovation in educational practice is growing rapidly, as are the numbers of English language learners (ELLs) in the United States (Kim, 2009a; Peregoy & Boyle, 2008). While ELLs are learning a new language, they are also preparing to succeed in the workforce and/or further academic study. The challenge with these goals is that the world in which they will work and study often features vastly different uses of technology than their schools or prior experiences. Initiatives such as The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2004) and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) have identified technology-related outcomes and standards, which are essential for learner success.

Based on these conditions, a clear opportunity exists to incorporate instructional technology for ELLs. Furthermore, the literature highly recommends incorporating various instructional technologies (podcasts, blogs, wikis, etc.) into the ELL educational context (Grigsby, 2009; Kim, 2009b, 2009c, LaCava, 2002). Our research revealed that many studies examined podcasting learning and integration for higher education (Carvalho, Moura, & Cruz, 2008; Lee & Chan, 2006; McGarr, 2009), K-1 2 teachers in general education classrooms (Carvalho, Moura, & Cruz, 2008), and pre-service training (Ozkan, & McKenzie, 2008; Pownell, 2006; Tynan & Colbran, 2006). These studies researched podcasting and blogs in teacher education (Brown & Warschauer, 2006; Deng & Yuen, 2009) and for teaching language learners (Soares, 2008). However, few studies have examined ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) teacher candidates' implementation of podcasts and blogs to improve the teaching of ELLs. This specific opportunity for instructional design and teacher support is the focus of this research study and article.

We often call new-generation students digital natives; they are "native speakers of digital language of computers, video games, and the Internet" (Prensky, 2001, p.l). One of the significant challenges faculty face is keeping up with these digital natives. It is essential for teacher education to decide how to use technology to advance educational experiences and scaffold learning outcomes.

Prior research elucidates a central, critical issue related to meeting this challenge. Faculty needs to cope with the foundational issue of fear when seeking to adopt new instructional technologies (King, 2002; Warschauer, 2002). Indeed, it is an important and valid challenge to the innovative teacher's professional identity (Lee & Chan, 2006; Lonn & Teasley, 2009; Luehmann & Tinelli, 2008). …

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