Despite fierce competition among podcasters, there is a dearth of research that has sought to elucidate the role of podcast description’s linguistic features in fostering learners’ engagement with podcasters on audio platforms. Building on cognitive appraisal theory, we not only posit curvilinear relationships between objective linguistic features (i.e., lexical richness and subjectivity) and online learners’ engagement, but we further postulate readability, a subjective linguistic feature, as having a moderating influence on the abovementioned relationships. To empirically validate our hypotheses, we employ Natural Language Processing algorithms to extract the abovementioned three linguistic features of podcast descriptions from 2,280 educational podcasts obtained from a leading audio platform in China. Analytical results point to inverted U-shaped relationships between lexical richness/subjectivity and engagement. Analysis of moderating effects further revealed that readability steepened the inverted U-shaped relationship between lexical richness and engagement while flattening the relationship between subjectivity and engagement.


Paper Number 1751; Track e-Learning; Complete Paper



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