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ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE (EFL) STUDENTS’ READINESS AND PERCEPTIONS TOWARDS MOBILE LEARNING

S. Bakay, I.H. Bulut, O. Delialioglu

Middle East Technical University (TURKEY)
Recent advancements in information and communication technologies have led researchers to investigate the potential contributions of mobile technologies towards learners’ needs. Mobile learning environments promise some distinguishing opportunities for learners in terms of constructing their own knowledge and collaborating socially with other learners anytime and anywhere. There are various mobile devices that are used to support mobile language learning activities such as mobile phones, PDAs and tablet PCs. In literature, a list of appropriate language learning activities and materials for several mobile devices are presented based on technical capacity of devices and their rate of use (Chinnary, 2006; Kukulska-Hulme & Shield, 2008). Therefore, information about the availability of mobile devices and their rate of use by target learners is needed to be collected to develop appropriate language learning activities and materials.

The purpose of this study is to investigate EFL students’ readiness and perceptions towards mobile learning by conducting a survey study. The participants of the study are randomly selected EFL students who are studying at English preparatory schools of the universities in Ankara, Turkey. The following list of information is planned to be retrieved from the participants as research data:

Infrastructure:
- Device availability
- Internet access
- Application awareness
Technical Background:
- Previous experience in e-learning
- Mobile device usage
Social Interaction:
- Use of social applications
- Resource/information sharing
Perceptions on Future Use of Mobile Devices for Learning
- Future use of mobile device as a learning tool
- Future use of mobile learning activities and materials

Prior to developing mobile learning activities and materials for EFL students, the findings of this research can be used to determine their learning needs and level of willingness to participate in a mobile learning environment and their availability to reach learning resources via various mobile devices. Kukulska-Hulme and Shield (2008) made an overview of Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) studies and found that most of the studies focused on formal language learning contexts and mobile devices are used mostly as a content delivery tool rather than forming peer-to-peer interactions. Social interaction factor can also shape MALL activities if the students’ current use of social applications via mobile devices can be analyzed effectively.

References:
Chinnery, G. M. (2006). Emerging technologies. Going to the mall: mobile assisted language learning. Language learning & technology, 10(1), 9-16.
Kukulska-Hulme, A., & Shield, L. (2008). An overview of mobile assisted language learning: From content delivery to supported collaboration and interaction. ReCALL, 20(03), 271-289.