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Mobile Assisted Language learning and EFL. Michael Thomas Nagoya University of Commerce & Business, Japan . Questions. Is mobile learning another example of technology-driven pedagogy? Can mobile devices by used as effective instructional tools?

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mobile assisted language learning and efl

Mobile Assisted Language learning and EFL

Michael Thomas

Nagoya University of Commerce & Business, Japan

  • Is mobile learning another example of technology-driven pedagogy?
  • Can mobile devices by used as effective instructional tools?
  • Are mobile technologies a medium for increased social inclusion in education?
what is mobile or m learning
What is mobile or m-learning?
  • Mobile learning relates to “the possibilities opened up by portable, lightweight devices that are … small enough to fit in a pocket or the palm of one’s hand. Typical examples are mobile phones … smartphones, palmtops and PDAs; Tablet PCs, laptop computers and personal media players”
  • Kukulska-Hulme & Traxler, 2005
the characteristics of mobile learning
The Characteristics of Mobile Learning
  • spontaneous
  • bite-sized, fast-food learning
  • short-burst
  • personal
  • informal
  • contextual
  • portable
  • ubiquitous
  • anywhere, anytime
the characteristics of mobile learning1
The Characteristics of Mobile Learning
  • ubiquitous (everywhere, anytime)
  • pervasive (an abundance of networked mobile and embedded devices)
  • ambient (completely surrounding us, learning enhanced buildings and networks, wireless cities)
  • (Kukulska-Hulme & Traxler, 2005)
the ubiquity of mobile technology
The Ubiquity of Mobile Technology
  • midnight 31st December 2005 to midnight 1st January 2006, 165 million SMS sent (UK)
  • total phone users in China reached 740 million in 2005
  • 390 million were mobile users
  • Chinese mobile phone users sent 304.65 billion SMS in 2005, an increase of almost 40% percent from 2004
  • Japan 2005, saw the latest generation of mobile phones offering TV, audio, language classes, and dictionaries
  • the market for downloadable music remains the most valuable: €6 billion by 2008
the ubiquity of mobile technology1
The Ubiquity of Mobile Technology
  • KDDI and NTT DoCoMo’s i-mode service
  • Japanese-English and English-Japanese dictionaries
  • 2005, KDDI launched a mobile ebook service for bestsellers, business titles, manga and anime
mobile learning literature
Mobile Learning Literature
  • Mobile Learning: A Handbook for Educators and Trainers, Agnes Kukulska-Hulme & John Traxler (eds). Routledge, 2005.
  • 13 case studies
mobile learning literature1
Mobile Learning Literature
  • Metcalf, D. S. 2006, mLearning: Mobile Learning and Performance in the Palm of your Hand, Amherst, Massachusetts, HRD Press Inc.
  • Corporate training and mobile learning
from call to mall
  • Chinnery, George M. “Going to the MALL: Mobile Assisted Language Learning”, Language Learning & Technology, Vol. 10, No. 1, January 2006, pp. 9-16
  • Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL)
mall studies convenient
MALL Studies: Convenient
  • email English vocabulary lessons at timed intervals to the mobile phones of 44 Japanese university students
  • students receiving mobile email learned more
  • 71% of the subjects preferred receiving these lessons on mobile phones rather than PCs
  • 93% felt this a valuable teaching method
  • Thornton, P. & Houser, C. (2005). Using Mobile Phones in English Education in Japan, Journalof Computer Assisted Learning. Vol. 21, Issue 3 pp.217-228.
mall studies ubiquity
MALL Studies: Ubiquity
  • 333 Japanese university students polled
  • 100% reported owning a mobile phone
  • 99% send email on their mobile phones, exchanging some 200 email messages each week
  • 66% email peers about classes; 44% email for studying
  • only 43% email on PCs, exchanging an average of only 2 messages per week. Only 20% had used a PDA
  • Thornton, P. & Houser, C. (2005). Using Mobile Phones in English Education in Japan. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. Vol. 21, Issue 3, pp. 217-228.
mall studies interactivity
MALL Studies: Interactivity
  • effective undergraduate education includes discussion, timely and frequent feedback to students, and active problem solving
  • mobile web phones to take polls, promote interactivity, and check student comprehension during large lecture classes
  • answer quizzes, collating and displaying the results
  • polling motivates student discussion, and gives students and instructors immediate feedback
  • Thornton, P. & Houser, C. (2003). EduCall: Adding interactivity to large lecture classes in Japan via mobile phone. Proceedings of EdMedia2003, Honolulu, Hawaii, pp.1871-1874.
mall studies input skills
MALL Studies: Input Skills
  • 2-minute transcription tasks, 24 Japanese university students typed Japanese:English at 8:7 wpm on miniature QWERTY keyboards, 10:9 on onscreen QWERTY keyboards, 17:5 on mobiles, 23:14 on desktop PCs, and 31:30 with pencil and paper
  • Students preferred typing on desktops and mobiles
  • students could take notes and write reports on their mobiles, but would require training before using PDAs and writing in English. recognition
  • Houser, C. & P. Thornton (2004) Japanese college students typing speeds on mobile devices. In Jeremy Roschelle, Tak-Wai Chan, Kinshuk, Stephen J. H. Yang (Eds.). Taoyuan, Taiwan. IEEE Computer Society 2004, pp. 129-133.
mall studies cms
MALL Studies: CMS
  • poodle, a course management system designed to facilitate deploying educational materials to mobile phones
  • supports ubiquitous polls, quizzes, wikis, forums, and flash cards
  • Houser, C. & Thornton, P. (2005). Poodle: A course-management system for mobile phones. In H. Ogata, M. Sharples, Kinshuk, & Y. Yano (Eds.), Proceedings of the third IEEE International Workshop, November 28-30, 2005, Los Alamitos, California: IEEE Computer Society, pp. 211-215.
ubiquitous m learning in japan
Ubiquitous m-learning in Japan
  • Mobile phone usage in Japan is at 91 million
  • 90% of students have access to mobile phones
  • Average length of possession of mobile phones: 7 years
  • No Japanese person leaves home without one
  • But, typically banned from classrooms
learning with mobile phones in japan
Learning with Mobile Phones in Japan
  • Using online dictionaries
  • Record dates using online calendars and organizing tools
  • Capture notes through through use of mobile cameras
  • Email or phone students to arrange meetings for class projects
  • Translation websites
learning with mobile phones
Learning with Mobile Phones
  • To record and listen to audio from lectures and classes
  • To listen to audio material aimed at pronunciation practice
  • To receive text / multimedia messages from teachers with class content
  • To receive administrative information about course schedules, tests, assignments
limitations of mobile technology
Limitations of Mobile Technology
  • Screen size
  • Keyboard entry
  • High cost of data transmission
  • Slow network speeds for video and audio
  • Most users still access 2G cellular data networks (data upload 9.6kbps and download at 29.8kbps)
  • Average Japanese mobile phone bill 9,000 Yen / 80USD
  • Battery life of mobile devices
  • Compatibility with computing interfaces
mobile networks
Mobile Networks
  • Text and image based context are most appropriate
  • Sound and video becoming possible with 3G cellular technology
  • Development of IP phones can use home or campus networks
  • Students on campus will be able to circumvent high data transmission charges by using wireless campus networks
mall activities
MALL Activities
  • Vocabulary review
  • Mobile blogs
  • Mobile calendar
  • Online courses for mobiles
  • Mobile polls
  • Mobile television
vocabulary review
Vocabulary Review
  • Email and text messages the most effective mobile tools
  • Hauser & Thornton Vocabulary via Mobile Email
  • Activities that involve vocabulary practice
  • Phrase translation
  • Quizzes
vocabulary review1
Vocabulary Review
  • Mike Levy and Claire Kennedy’s essay on ‘Learning Italian via mobile SMS’
  • Mobile phones were used to send students new vocabulary items from an Italian novel studied on the course, along with definitions and example uses of the words
  • A process of regularly spaced-intervals was used according to two strategies – ‘once only’ and ‘recurring delivery’ – and vocabulary was sent prior to and between students’ scheduled language lessons
vocabulary review2
Vocabulary Review
  • Feedback: a maximum of 160 characters could be displayed on the screens, significant periods of time were required for message preparation
  • Content: students reacted most favorably to SMS concerned with grammar, vocabulary, news, literature and administrative matters
  • Timing: both in terms of most appropriate time of the day as well as the interval strategy adopted, was also a crucial issue
  • 94.4% of students gave favorable feedback, indicating that they had liked the use of SMS for learning vocabulary, especially the use of a prompt to aid retention, and the sending of messages outside of normal study times or prior to class
mobile calendar
Mobile Calendar
  • Mobile phones as personal organizers
  • For instructors and students
  • Improve student-student
  • student-teacher communication
  • Administrative tasks
  • Dissemination of course-related information
  • Study links
online courses for mobiles
Online Courses for Mobiles
  • Course Management Systems
  • Moodle for mobiles
  • Course administration
  • Course teaching modules
case study nucb
Case Study: NUCB
  • 205 freshmen English language majors
  • 1GB iPod Shuffle
  • required to download audio resources from a university server
  • encouraged to listen to them on their iPods, both on and off campus
  • The audio was then used in Final Examination papers
case study nucb1
Case Study: NUCB
  • 70% used iPods for listening to music
  • 18% for activities related to learning English 12% for storing data files
  • 64% they had never or hardly ever used their iPods for listening in English while traveling to and from campus
case study nucb2
Case Study: NUCB
  • 26% iPods had improved their overall exposure to English language resources
  • 54% of students said that they bring their iPods to campus very often or often
  • only 15% said that faculty had used it effectively enough for them to consider using their iPod for English language learning purposes
  • 21% saw a strong connection between the English language resources and the iPod technology itself
case study nucb3
Case Study: NUCB
  • 15% had downloaded music from iTunes Apple site
  • 66% said they had never done so
  • only 4% of students knew the difference between podcasting and downloading music
  • 57% of students thought the iPods had been distributed as an attempt to attract them to study at the university rather than to help them in any meaningful learning process
  • Is mobile learning another example of technology-driven pedagogy?
  • Can mobile devices by used as effective instructional tools?
  • Are mobile technologies a medium for increased social inclusion in education?