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Skype and Podcasting: Disruptive Technologies for Language Learning

Language Learning & Technology Volume 9, Number 3, ISSN 1094-3501


This article describes two emerging technologies--Skype and podcasting. Both Skype and podcasting can be considered "disruptive technologies" in that they allow for new and different ways of doing familiar tasks, and in the process, may threaten traditional industries. Skype, the "people's telephone," is a free, Internet-based alternative to commercial phone service, while podcasting, the "radio for the people," provides a "narrowcasting" version of broadcast media. Both have sparked intense interest and have large numbers of users, although it is too soon to toll the bell for telephone companies and the radio industry. Skype and podcasting have had a political aspect to their embrace by early adopters--a way of democratizing institutions--but as they reach the mainstream, that is likely to become less important than the low cost and convenience the technologies offer. Both technologies offer intriguing opportunities for language professionals and learners, as they provide additional channels for oral communication.


Godwin-Jones, R. (2005). Skype and Podcasting: Disruptive Technologies for Language Learning. Language Learning & Technology, 9(3), 9-12. Retrieved September 23, 2020 from .

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