The first section of the paper focuses on the development of mobile learning and provides an overview of a growing body of research which describes mobile devices as useful tools for language learning. The development of cutting-edge mobile devices has driven the attention of educators, making mobile learning (mlearning) a new and interesting approach to language learning. Mobile tools and social networks allow users to produce and share content and context (Hill & Hannafin, 2001; Saad & Borg, 2009) and allow learners to access an ubiquitous, autonomous and individualised learning experience (Ibrahim Abukhattala, 2016; Shuler, 2009). Moreover, mobile tools offer a wide range of functions and activities, enhancing multisensory learning, which provides significant benefits for the brain. Indeed, it is known that multisensory learning eases the processes of recollection and processing of information (Katja M. Mayer et al., 2015). The benefits provided by mobile learning are embraced by learners, who feel better engaged, resulting in more successful outcomes (Wang et al., 2009). However, in some cases, the use of mobile tools for educational purposes provokes concerns for educators (Barrell, 2011). Moreover, the implementation of new media is affected by educators’ beliefs and attitudes (Van Olphen, 2007), which suggests that training is needed, in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of mobile learning (Liu, 2009). The second section of this paper includes a description of four apps (BUSUU, SPEAKINGPAL, VOXY and OPENLANGUAGE) for language learning and the results of a survey carried out amongst 13 university EFL learners (10 women and 3 men), belonging to different fields of study and with different levels of language competence (according to selfevaluation). Even if this study can be considered as a beta test –due to the small sample and the nature of participants– students’ comments suggest that mobile learning is an interesting and engaging way to bring the language learning experience outside of the classroom and share it in a broader –although digital– environment.

Mobile Learning: APP-raising and Updating Language Learning in the Digital Era

Rossella Latorraca
2015

Abstract

The first section of the paper focuses on the development of mobile learning and provides an overview of a growing body of research which describes mobile devices as useful tools for language learning. The development of cutting-edge mobile devices has driven the attention of educators, making mobile learning (mlearning) a new and interesting approach to language learning. Mobile tools and social networks allow users to produce and share content and context (Hill & Hannafin, 2001; Saad & Borg, 2009) and allow learners to access an ubiquitous, autonomous and individualised learning experience (Ibrahim Abukhattala, 2016; Shuler, 2009). Moreover, mobile tools offer a wide range of functions and activities, enhancing multisensory learning, which provides significant benefits for the brain. Indeed, it is known that multisensory learning eases the processes of recollection and processing of information (Katja M. Mayer et al., 2015). The benefits provided by mobile learning are embraced by learners, who feel better engaged, resulting in more successful outcomes (Wang et al., 2009). However, in some cases, the use of mobile tools for educational purposes provokes concerns for educators (Barrell, 2011). Moreover, the implementation of new media is affected by educators’ beliefs and attitudes (Van Olphen, 2007), which suggests that training is needed, in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of mobile learning (Liu, 2009). The second section of this paper includes a description of four apps (BUSUU, SPEAKINGPAL, VOXY and OPENLANGUAGE) for language learning and the results of a survey carried out amongst 13 university EFL learners (10 women and 3 men), belonging to different fields of study and with different levels of language competence (according to selfevaluation). Even if this study can be considered as a beta test –due to the small sample and the nature of participants– students’ comments suggest that mobile learning is an interesting and engaging way to bring the language learning experience outside of the classroom and share it in a broader –although digital– environment.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/4781173
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