Smartphones and language learning

Godwin-Jones, R. (2017). Smartphones and language learning. Language Learning & Technology, 21(2), 3–17.

According to the 2016 General Social Survey[1] from Statistics Canada 71% of the population own a Smartphone. We carry these powerful little devices with us everywhere even in our classrooms. The ubiquity of the Smartphone begs the question of how they could be used to support and extend language learning.

This timely article offers an overview of, and provides a useful base of information about the potential of Smartphones for language learning. The author contends that smartphones have the potential to support students in more effectively integrating their language learning in the classroom and the incidental language learning that they may engage in using mobile devices. One major challenge relating to the use of smartphones and mobile devices in the language learning environment is how to support students to develop skills and knowledge to enable them to become informed and engaged online learners.

The author surveys recent research in Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) and makes the case for the need for further research to examine the actual use of mobile devices by students outside of the classroom. Such research would support a better understanding of how these devices can be effectively deployed in the language classroom to support informal and ongoing learning and the development of critical digital skills.

 

[i] (2016). Statistics Canada. General Social Survey.

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-627-m/11-627-m2017032-eng.htm

Retrievable from: http://llt.msu.edu/issues/june2017/emerging.pdf