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Languages 2017, 2(3), 12; doi:10.3390/languages2030012

Visually-Impaired Brazilian Students Learning English with Smartphones: Overcoming Limitations

1
Departamento Acadêmico de Línguas Estrangeiras Modernas, Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná, Av. Sete de Setembro 3165, 80230-901 Curitiba, Brazil
2
Departamento de Letras Estrangeiras Modernas, Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Portal de Versalhes III, 86044-766 Londrina, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Sonia Rocca and Bryan Smith
Received: 7 February 2017 / Revised: 7 July 2017 / Accepted: 12 July 2017 / Published: 31 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MOBILizing Language Learning in the 21st Century)
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Abstract

The aim of this research was to investigate the role of smartphones in teaching the English language to a population of fifteen, visually-impaired Brazilian students. Classroom ethnography was chosen as the methodological design and data generated from classroom observations, didactic materials that were made and posted on apps, and two questionnaires were used. We resorted to descriptive and interpretive analyses as we intended to find linguistic and behavioral patterns regarding the use of information and communications technology (ICT), focusing on smartphones, for communication and learning English. Results show that, at the beginning of the course, students had little to no ability to use smartphones, including apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook mobile. After two years of formal language and smartphone instruction, all students learned how to use their mobile phones, and were able to post and listen to podcasts and written texts on WhatsApp and Facebook mobile in both their native language and in English. The students also engaged in real-life communication events with peers in Brazil and other parts of the world. Mobile-assisted language learning (MALL) helped these students enhance their social and cultural capital. View Full-Text
Keywords: multiliteracies; digital literacy; MALL; dysontogenesis; English for the visually impaired multiliteracies; digital literacy; MALL; dysontogenesis; English for the visually impaired
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Retorta, M.S.; Cristovão, V.L.L. Visually-Impaired Brazilian Students Learning English with Smartphones: Overcoming Limitations. Languages 2017, 2, 12.

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