DEVELOPMENT AND USE OF AN ANDROID TABLET APPLICATION FOR READING PRACTICES IN A UNIVERSITY EFL COURSE
1 Kyoto University of Foreign Studies (JAPAN)
2 IE Institute Co., Ltd. (JAPAN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:This paper reports on the use of an English-language reading practice application for an android tablet computer operating system with students who are not native speakers of English. The application materials for vocabulary learning in reading-passage contexts were created to include words from a database of low-frequency and technical noun-verb collocations which occurred frequently in certain documents related to the study of international affairs: thirty English-language annual reports of United Nations organizations found on official websites; and English-language annual reports and other articles from the websites of twenty international non-governmental organizations. The learning materials were used in an English for specific purposes (ESP) course intended to support the reading skill development of students studying international affairs at a university in Japan. The application was designed to have the following two functions: 1. to encourage students to look up the international affairs vocabulary on the ESP vocabulary list, including initialisms and acronyms, and to present to the students the meaning and the pronunciation of the specialized vocabulary; 2. to highlight the vocabulary on the ESP list in the reading passages prepared for this project in order to present to the students the meaning and the pronunciation of the target vocabulary. Based on the findings of pre- and post-vocabulary tests and students’ evaluation of the course, it was revealed that the students strengthened their vocabulary; that they enjoyed the reading practice with the mobile tablet computer; and they appreciated that it had some merits that differed from reading practice in hard copy formats that may help improve reading skills.
Keywords: Tablet computer, Vocabulary learning, Reading practice application, English for specific purposes (ESP), the study of international affairs.