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2013 (October) – MALL: Some Emerging Principles for Mobile-assisted Language Learning

Some Emerging Principles for Mobile-assisted Language Learning

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Glenn Stockwell, Professor, Waseda University

Philip Hubbard, Senior Lecturer and Director of English for Foreign Students, Stanford University Language Center

Executive Summary: The steadily increasing access to sophisticated but affordable portable technologies over the past several years has brought with it a body of research into using these technologies for learning in both formal and informal contexts. It is not surprising, then, that language teachers have also adopted mobile technologies into their individual teaching and learning contexts. This paper first examines recent studies from the mobile-assisted language learning (MALL) literature, exploring the issues that emerge from this body of research through a framework distinguishing physical, pedagogical, and psycho-social dimensions. Recognizing not only the contributions but also the limitations of existing MALL literature, it then identifies a number of findings from the closely allied fields of mobile learning (ML) and computer-assisted language learning (CALL) that can inform both research and practice in MALL. Drawing from all three sources (MALL, ML, and CALL), the paper proposes ten general principles to guide teachers, learners, administrators, employers, and other stakeholders in the challenge of effectively integrating mobile devices and tasks into language learning environments. The paper concludes with a case study showing how each of the principles described have been applied in an actual mobile language learning context.

Discussion of this paper provided by: Tarana Patel, Founder & Educator, learnEd, India

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Discussion of this paper provided by: Simone Smala, Professor, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

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