The Use of Current Mobile Learning Applications in EFL
Área/s de conocimientoFilosofía, Filología y Lingüística
Technological developments in ubiquitous computing and wireless communication together with the adoption of mobile multimedia devices and applications have translated into huge opportunities for English as a foreign language (EFL). Operating systems like Google’s open source Android, Apple’s iOS, and Microsoft’s Windows 7 are getting more sophisticated and now have the potential to dramatically change this field. These handheld devices support individual and collaborative learning and offer the opportunity to develop technology that will assist students to learn anytime and anywhere and a large amount of applications for mobile phones, tablets and i-pod players has already been widely employed in EFL. Mobile learning (m-learning) refers to the use of mobile technologies for educational purposes. These devices can offer learning opportunities that are: spontaneous, informal, contextual, portable, ubiquitous, pervasive, and personal (Kukulska- Hulme et al, 2011). Thus, as Pilling-Cormick and Garrison (2007) explained, learners take primary responsibility and control of their learning process, including setting goals and evaluating outcomes. They are no longer the passive recipients of education, but consumers making choices in the learning market. However, although the stimuli from multi-channels (sound, image, interaction, etc.) may be very advantageous for the learner, mobile technologies also require the thoughtful integration of EFL pedagogy. In this paper, we intend to examine both the qualities and limitations of some mobile applications available by assessing their features from a pedagogic and technical point of view with the aid of a quality rubric. The results here presented are the starting point for the development of MALL (Mobile Assisted Language Learning) applications for EFL teaching/learning as part of the work carried out by linguists and IT engineers within the context of the SO-CALL-ME project in Spain.