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 (2 papers)

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Research

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
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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
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)
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