Amateur Radio as an Aid to Foreign Language Learning


  • Edmun B. Richmond

  • Edmun B. Richmond (Ed.D., University of Georgia) is Assistant Professor of German at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Ga.


ABSTRACT  The campus amateur radio station presents an ideal way for students to communicate with a native speaker in a foreign country by utilizing two-way shortwave radio. These contacts provide the language learner with ‘live,’ personalized conversations with someone other than the teacher. A pilot study was conducted with third-quarter, beginning, German students utilizing the campus amateur radio station. Contacts were maintained with five German-speaking stations. Attendance was purely voluntary; however, the attendance rate rose steadily during the study. Participating students expressed enthusiasm for the radio sessions and appeared to generate more classroom interest in the German language and culture.