MOBILE LEARNING AND LEARNING ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE FOR ADULTS: CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES FOR FUTURE MOBILE LEARNING PROJECTS
University of Alicante (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:This year in Spain, as unemployment reaches a record high of almost 6 million unemployed, there is an increased number of pupils signing up to learn English at Official Language Schools. According to the British Council, a massive increase in the number of people learning English has already begun all over the world, and is likely to reach a peak of around 2 billion in the next 10–15 years. Learner motivations are mainly professional, whether as future employees or entrepreneurs wanting to develop business opportunities in neighbouring regions or on the global stage.
In parallel, smart phones and tablets are being purchased massively. According to the Unesco, there are presently almost 6 billion mobile phone subscriptions in the world, and Internet is accessed three times more via mobile devices than via computers. Mobile devices are offering new ways of learning that are particularly well adapted to learning languages while being cost-effective and flexible.
It therefore makes sense to explore the development of large-scale and cost effective mobile learning projects related to learning English as a foreign language for adults, as this method of learning allows the working population to develop a skill that can improve their lives, and complement formal education.
This article presents the BBC Janala project, among other projects, and explores the reasons for its success, which includes the variety of supports resources were available on (thus allowing mobility of one technology to another), low cost (thanks to collaboration with local providers), and culturally adapted resources.
Latest academic research results on mobile learning applied to language learning also sheds a light on strategies to follow when designing a language mobile learning project. This research is reviewed, and conclusions are drawn on the barriers and challenges that affect the deployment of projects as well as guidelines and future lines of research for promoting mobile learning projects of English.
Keywords: Mobile learning, English, English as a foreign language, adult, tablet, Janala, ubiquity, project, smart phone, technology.