Special Issue "MOBILizing Language Learning in the 21st Century"

A special issue of Languages (ISSN 2226-471X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Sonia Rocca

World Languages Department, Lycée Français de New York, NY 10021-3462, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: child and adolescent second language acquisition, foreign language education, differentiated instruction; mobile language learning; K-12 linguistics
Guest Editor
Dr. Bryan Smith

Department of English, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-0302, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: computer-assisted language learning; second language acquisition theory; instructed second language acquisition; task-based language learning

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The term ‘mobilizing’ literally means ‘making mobile’. It evokes images of people being assembled for a clear purpose, for example troops being deployed or marshalling disaster relief resources. It is as if, in order to make someone or something ‘mobile’, there has to be fluidity in a plan that is organized and set in motion to pursue a specific goal. Language learning itself is intrinsically mobile, fluid and dynamic, changing over time and space, across and within individuals. Technology can accentuate this mobility as portable handheld devices help language learners overcome the spatial-temporal boundaries of a traditional classroom. Indeed, language learners themselves become mobile when they utilize their mobile devices to create their own mobile learning environments. Mobilizing language learning thus capitalizes on the many affordances of mobile technology, such as ubiquity, interactivity, connectivity and portability, toward the goal of optimizing language learning.

An affordance implies a relation between an object and its functions and uses, e.g., a chair typically ‘affords’ sitting but could also ‘afford’ standing on. The basic question addressed by this special issue is the following: how can mobile technology affordances ‘afford’ better language learning? That is, how do these affordances embrace and interact with the many facets of language learning to impact its processes and outcomes? For example, mobile devices afford augmented reality through GPS, camera and wireless capabilities. Augmented reality can create a real-life environment for a user to interact in. The potential for language learning is enormous, when we think that the ability to interact in an authentic context is generally regarded as a hallmark of best pedagogical practice and successful language learning.

This Special Issue welcomes original research in mobile language learning (MoLL). Empirical studies are preferred, but special consideration could also be given to papers addressing the theoretical underpinnings of this relatively new but fast evolving field. Whether it is children learning a first and/or a second language in school, adults learning a new language in formal or informal settings, the focus is on how mobile devices, such as tablet computers, smartphones or other handhelds, affect language learning.

Abstract submission is now closed. Authors of successful abstracts are invited to submit full papers by 28 February 2017, which will be sent out for peer review.

Dr. Sonia Rocca
Dr. Bryan Smith
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Languages is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Mobile language learning (MoLL)
  • Second/foreign language learning (L2L)
  • First language learning (L1L)
  • Mobile technology
  • Affordances
  • Mobility
  • Interactivity
  • Connectivity
  • Ubiquity
  • Augmented reality
  • Tablet computer
  • Smartphone
  • Handheld
  • Computer-assisted language learning/CALL
  • Technology-enhanced language learning/TELL
  • Information and Communication Technology/ICT

Published Papers (8 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-8
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle Improving Motivation to Learn English in Japan with a Self-Study Shadowing Application
Languages 2017, 2(4), 19; doi:10.3390/languages2040019
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 29 August 2017 / Published: 27 September 2017
PDF Full-text (1175 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The scarcity of opportunities to communicate in English in Japan proves a challenge for learners, as significant improvements in English as a Foreign Language) (EFL) listening and speaking will not materialize without consistent practice and a motivation to study. Furthermore, analysis of standardized
[...] Read more.
The scarcity of opportunities to communicate in English in Japan proves a challenge for learners, as significant improvements in English as a Foreign Language) (EFL) listening and speaking will not materialize without consistent practice and a motivation to study. Furthermore, analysis of standardized test scores shows that university students’ scores tend to decrease after their first year of study (Sumida 2015; Mikada 2016). In order to overcome these difficulties, a team of teachers at a university in Japan introduced a mobile-assisted language learning (MALL) shadowing application where students can train their ears while also practicing speaking with shadowing, a technique recognized as effective for improving speaking and listening (Kadota 2014; Hamada 2016). This paper describes the introduction of this application in general education English classes. It then considers its impact on the motivation, attitudes towards communicating orally in English, and perception of English ability of 1001 first-year university students, the majority science and engineering majors, who used it over one semester. Preliminary results of a pre- and post-intervention Likert questionnaire indicate that through this system, linguistic self-confidence, interest in English, ideal L2 self, attitudes towards communicating in the L2, and perceptions of English ability were potentially enhanced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MOBILizing Language Learning in the 21st Century)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Achieving Independent Language Learning through the Mobilization of Ubiquitous Instructional Technology Resources
Languages 2017, 2(3), 16; doi:10.3390/languages2030016
Received: 1 March 2017 / Revised: 4 August 2017 / Accepted: 7 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
PDF Full-text (7663 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In programs meant for foreign language majors, there is typically a broad range of linguistic competence in advanced-level Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP) courses. Troublesome in any course, this is especially so when instruction directly relates to professional training, where students need to
[...] Read more.
In programs meant for foreign language majors, there is typically a broad range of linguistic competence in advanced-level Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP) courses. Troublesome in any course, this is especially so when instruction directly relates to professional training, where students need to attain a level of competence that will allow them to subsequently function as fully independent language learners. Considering the normal constraints on in-class instruction, the mobilization of ubiquitous instructional technology resources, coupled with sound curriculum design and metacognitive awareness raising, is critical to providing the amount of time on task required to attain this objective. The case of the English for Specific Academic Purposes course that is the subject of this study provides an example of how the challenge of bringing students up to the level of independent language learners has been approached. It is hoped this may serve as a pedagogical model that can be applied to advanced-level LSP courses in general. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MOBILizing Language Learning in the 21st Century)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Visually-Impaired Brazilian Students Learning English with Smartphones: Overcoming Limitations
Languages 2017, 2(3), 12; doi:10.3390/languages2030012
Received: 7 February 2017 / Revised: 7 July 2017 / Accepted: 12 July 2017 / Published: 31 July 2017
PDF Full-text (2617 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MOBILizing Language Learning in the 21st Century)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Mobilizing Instruction in a Second-Language Context: Learners’ Perceptions of Two Speech Technologies
Languages 2017, 2(3), 11; doi:10.3390/languages2030011
Received: 8 March 2017 / Revised: 3 July 2017 / Accepted: 10 July 2017 / Published: 17 July 2017
PDF Full-text (971 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We report the results of two empirical studies that investigated the use of mobile text-to-speech synthesizers (TTS) and automatic speech recognition (ASR) as tools to promote the development of pronunciation skills in L2 French. Specifically, the study examined learners’ perceptions of the pedagogical
[...] Read more.
We report the results of two empirical studies that investigated the use of mobile text-to-speech synthesizers (TTS) and automatic speech recognition (ASR) as tools to promote the development of pronunciation skills in L2 French. Specifically, the study examined learners’ perceptions of the pedagogical use of these tools in learning a French segment (the vowel /y/, as in tu ‘you’) and a suprasegmental feature (across-word resyllabification/liaison, observed in petit enfant ‘small child’), in a mobile-assisted context. Our results indicate that, when used in a “learn anytime anywhere” mobile setting, the participants believe that they have: (1) increased and enhanced access to input; and (2) multiple opportunities for speech output and (3) for the development of prediction skills. Interestingly, these findings meet the requirements for successful L2 learning, one that recommends the inclusion of pedagogical activities that promote exposure to input (Nation & Newton 2009), multiple opportunities for output (Swain 1995), and the development of prediction skills (Dickerson 2015) to foster learner autonomy and, consequently, to maximize classroom time by extending the reach of the classroom. Our findings also indicate that participants recognize the pedagogical importance of TTS and ASR, and enjoy the mobile-enhanced learning environment afforded by these two technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MOBILizing Language Learning in the 21st Century)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle I Can’t Program! Customizable Mobile Language-Learning Resources for Researchers and Practitioners
Languages 2017, 2(3), 8; doi:10.3390/languages2030008
Received: 7 March 2017 / Revised: 2 July 2017 / Accepted: 5 July 2017 / Published: 8 July 2017
PDF Full-text (862 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Combining insights from Activity Theory (Engeström, 2014), mobile-assisted language-learning (MALL) (Stockwell and Hubbard, 2013), and computer-assisted language learning (CALL) research (Chapelle, 2001), this paper proposes three levels of teacher involvement in the adaptation and/or creation of MALL resources to enhance learner interaction with
[...] Read more.
Combining insights from Activity Theory (Engeström, 2014), mobile-assisted language-learning (MALL) (Stockwell and Hubbard, 2013), and computer-assisted language learning (CALL) research (Chapelle, 2001), this paper proposes three levels of teacher involvement in the adaptation and/or creation of MALL resources to enhance learner interaction with the target language and potentially contribute to the field of learner-computer interactions. Specifically, this paper (1) proposes three levels of teacher involvement in MALL material creation, moving from easily adaptable pre-made materials (e.g., Duolingo) to customizable materials (e.g., Quizlet) and finally to teacher-created materials (e.g., Moodle); (2) demonstrates how these levels of design can be implemented in a MALL context to increase target language interaction according to Activity Theory (e.g., how teachers can incorporate gaming features into their online courses); and (3) concludes with recommendations as to how MALL “engineers” can work together to enhance the overall L2 learning experience and potentially collaborate in research and in the design of pedagogical materials. From a pedagogical standpoint, through these three levels of teacher involvement in material creation, teachers can extend the reach of their classrooms by mobilizing the target L2 environments, depending on their MALL/CALL proficiency and/or interests. This approach also invites second language acquisition scholars from a wide range of technological abilities to contribute to CALL research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MOBILizing Language Learning in the 21st Century)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle I Text English to Everyone: Links between Second-Language Texting and Academic Proficiency
Languages 2017, 2(3), 7; doi:10.3390/languages2030007
Received: 21 February 2017 / Revised: 15 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
PDF Full-text (699 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This article reports on research investigating the relationship between text messaging and academic literacy among Spanish-dominant emergent bilingual young adults in New York City (acquiring English). Through assessments of academic language and analysis of a corpus of 44,597 text messages, this study found
[...] Read more.
This article reports on research investigating the relationship between text messaging and academic literacy among Spanish-dominant emergent bilingual young adults in New York City (acquiring English). Through assessments of academic language and analysis of a corpus of 44,597 text messages, this study found that emergent bilinguals who send more messages in English and choose English for the settings on their mobile phones tend to have higher academic English skills. This study also found that the English messages they send are lexically less dense than the Spanish messages, illustrating that students use a narrower vocabulary when texting in their second language. This finding is explored in light of previous research that has found that using social media in the target language can help students develop fluency and intercultural competence skills, but not always vocabulary. The results are discussed in terms of the tendency for texters to text monolingually and other affordances and constraints of smart phone use in digitally supporting second language acquisition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MOBILizing Language Learning in the 21st Century)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Maximizing L2 Speaking Practice through iPads
Languages 2017, 2(2), 6; doi:10.3390/languages2020006
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 21 April 2017 / Accepted: 21 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
PDF Full-text (318 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigates the effects of additional out-of-class speaking practice, using a simple iPad application, on students’ overall speaking proficiency, fluency, and syntactic complexity. Students in the experimental and control groups (N = 52) completed an adapted Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview (SOPI)
[...] Read more.
This study investigates the effects of additional out-of-class speaking practice, using a simple iPad application, on students’ overall speaking proficiency, fluency, and syntactic complexity. Students in the experimental and control groups (N = 52) completed an adapted Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview (SOPI) at the end of the semester, which was rated by two independent raters. Results of an independent-samples t-test revealed statistically significant differences between the two groups. The students who had received additional speaking practice on iPads achieved higher SOPI scores than the students in the control group. Two of the seven tasks of the SOPI test were used for the analysis of fluency and complexity. Results did not show any statistically significant differences between the two groups for fluency and complexity. The study suggests that mobile technology can be effectively implemented for beginning language learners to enhance their learning outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MOBILizing Language Learning in the 21st Century)
Open AccessArticle Narrative Perspectives on Self-Directed Foreign Language Learning in a Computer- and Mobile-Assisted Language Learning Context
Languages 2017, 2(2), 4; doi:10.3390/languages2020004
Received: 14 January 2017 / Revised: 9 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 21 April 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2145 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Millions of learners around the world use self-directed computer- and mobile-assisted language learning (CALL, MALL) programs to study foreign languages. One such program, Duolingo, currently attracts over 120 million users and is claimed (by the publisher) to be a highly effective method of
[...] Read more.
Millions of learners around the world use self-directed computer- and mobile-assisted language learning (CALL, MALL) programs to study foreign languages. One such program, Duolingo, currently attracts over 120 million users and is claimed (by the publisher) to be a highly effective method of language learning. While L2 researchers have shown limited engagement with similar large-scale commercial programs, issues related to learner persistence, motivation, and program efficacy have been reported. This study investigates the experiences and efficacy of learning Turkish on Duolingo for 12 weeks, drawing on a methodological tradition of researcher narratives. Three graduate student researchers kept diaries and completed weekly reflections on their Turkish learning experiences, which served as source material for individual narrative analysis. The resulting narratives were discussed and analyzed collaboratively from an ecological perspective. Strategies used by the researcher-participants were heavily influenced by ecological factors. Persistence in learning was found to be influenced by ecological factors and varied across timescales. Ultimately, the researcher-participants had limited Turkish learning outcomes and felt demotivated to continue studying on Duolingo. Implications for CALL/MALL design include presenting materials in a meaningful context, capitalizing on social affordances, and providing meaningful feedback to learners in order to facilitate learning and goal-setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MOBILizing Language Learning in the 21st Century)
Figures

Figure 1

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
Languages Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
E-Mail: 
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Languages Edit a special issue Review for Languages
logo
loading...
Back to Top