MALL: The Pedagogical Challenges

Burston, J. (2014). MALL: The Pedagogical Challenges. Computer Assisted Language Learning,  27 (4) 344-357,

A comprehensive review of the use of Mobile-Assisted Language Learning (MALL) over the past 20 years or so, highlighting a range of innovative programs. The article argues that MALL has been constrained not only by issues of access, affordability and lack of standardization of devices but also by an approach to pedagogy which the author describes as a “behaviorist, teacher-centered, transmission model of instruction” . The author makes the case that a constructivist/learner-centred “collaborative, task-based learning both within and outside of the classroom.” is more appropriate to teaching and learning with mobile technologies and ultimately supports better learning outcomes The article concludes that the technological and financial constraints that have limited the use of mobile technologies in language teaching and learning will likely be resolved by market forces, and that the realization of the potential of mobile technologies for language teaching and learning is “a matter of pedagogy rather than technology.”

Cost: $USD 41.00

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The Reality of MALL: Still on the Fringes.

Burston, J. (2014). The Reality of MALL: Still on the Fringes. CALICO Journal, 31(1), 103–125.

Note: Calico Journal articles are open access 36 months after the date of publication.

This article reviews MALL (Mobile-Assisted Language Learning) implementation studies over the past 20 years and concludes that actual MALL integration, measured in terms of numbers of students, numbers of courses offered, language skills targeted remains marginal in the foreign language training sector. Having sounded this cautionary note about the current role of MALL in foreign language training the author notes that the technologies and pedagogical capabilities are in fact in place to move MALL from the margins to the mainstream of foreign language teaching.