Polytechnic Institute of Leiria (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2018 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 1150-1158
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.1264
Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain
Speaking a foreign language has always been considered a precious ability. In contemporary society, the movement of global citizens around the world creates unprecedented opportunities, both at a personal and professional level. If we consider these within the field of Tourism, then speaking a foreign language is mandatory for those opportunities to reach their maximum potential. Therefore, teaching foreign languages to undergraduate Tourism students becomes of utmost importance. Analysing the characteristics of current higher education students, known as Generation Y or digital natives (Prensky, 2001), they have become fluent in acquiring and using technological tools, they multitask and prefer visuals to graphics and text and they are constantly connected or networked. Despite this, most Higher Education Institutions (HEI) and their classroom type of work have remained in the past century, still following a lecture-based model. Several studies have revealed that incorporating these students’ skills into their way of working and learning is extremely beneficial. What is, then, necessary for HEI teachers to start using less teacher-centred and more student-centred approaches, with the support of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)?

This paper explores the perceptions and practices of higher education foreign language teachers in Tourism degrees, regarding ICTs, and more particularly, mobile devices as a support tool for language teaching and learning. Within the framework of a quantitative research, a questionnaire survey was designed and applied to foreign language teachers of public and private Higher Education institutions and a total of 47 participants enrolled in this study. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics (means and frequencies). Findings reveal that teachers use Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) both outside and in the classroom and they have positive perceptions of ICT as support tools to foreign language teaching and learning. When it comes to mobile devices, most participants are favourable to the use of mobile devices in the classroom context, in particular to support the development of linguistic skills, but its use decreases when compared to ICT in general and teachers recognise that they need more training. Therefore, this paper also presents the proposal for an activity to be developed with students, by using Kahoot, a game-based, interactive tool to develop students’ writing and reading skills, in initial levels, in a collaborative and interactive environment.
Foreign languages, Tourism, ICT, mobile devices, Kahoot, gamification.