Is there Evidence for Differential Benefits between Mobile Devices Used for Self-access Learning as Opposed to Language Learning in the Classroom with the Teacher?
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Paul Sweeney, Founder and Director, Eduworlds Knowledge Ltd.
Executive Summary: Educators in ‘traditional’ face-to-face training scenarios are exploiting the potential of students’ own mobile devices – often but not exclusively smartphones and tablets – to increase the relevance of the taught English for the workplace programs. Seven educators from very different contexts but all teaching some form of English for the Workplace were interviewed about their practice of creating mobile-enabled self-access activities. The introduction of these activities proved beneficial in a number of ways: they compensated for some of the inherent limitations of the face-to-face program; they increased the workplace relevance of the course overall; they increased student participation and motivation and provided the students with tangible skills and resources which they could use in their personal and professional lives. The changed approaches and practices required by the use of these activities provided insights into the real nature of student digital literacies in educational contexts and pointers towards the training and support needed. Training is unlikely to be sufficient in itself – educators need to own and use these devices in their personal lives in order to use them appropriately in a professional context. The use of such activities extends the traditional classroom and leads to a rethinking of traditional educator roles.
Discussion of this paper provided by: Jeff R. Watson, Center for Languages, Cultures, & Regional Studies, US Military Academy – West Point, USA
Discussion of this paper provided by: Kevin Jepson, Senior Development Editor, EF Englishtown.com, USA