EXPERIENCES WITH UTILIZING HANDHELD DEVICES IN LANGUAGE CLASSROOMS
The LLP Comenius project named Identifying the Logical structure of languages by use of new Interactive mobile services, new diagnostic training methods for development of Key competences, and new Evaluation methods introducing assessment for learning practices (iLike), started 1st December 2012. The aim of the project iLike is to introduce a new and improved way of teaching students the logic behind languages.
Language students often struggle to understand the logic in grammar, reducing their ability to reproduce and manipulate language. Native speakers have an innate intuition about what sounds right language-wise. How can a non-native speaker elaborate on the differences between the sentences “Salmon ARE being sold here” and “Salmon IS an important product”? Will he/she be able to understand the logic behind conjugating verbs in relation to nouns? And what about vocabulary: “I can LEARN/TEACH my dog tricks” or syntax: “They have SEEN never snow”? In other words, what is the logic of how language works? And how can we utilize new technology available to practically all students in order to enlighten them on the logic behind languages?
This article outlines the iLike-project, in methodology and the applied technology. It focuses on the advantages provided by technology already available, like Smartphones, tablets and computers, and especially on how the teacher should utilize the fact that more and more students are bringing their own devices (BYOD) to class. There are certain advantages provided by usage of mobile technology in class that are difficult to achieve in other ways, like anonymity, engagement by all of the students, peer learning effects and real interaction between teacher and students towards the learning objectives. In order to get the full effect of the methodology, the project will create an innovative online-service named Logical Language Services (LLS).
The article presents results obtained by the piloting in the consortium the first year. It focuses on the use of the software, the methodology that have been developed in order to achieve more engaged and involved students and the feedback given by students and instructors via interviews, questionnaires and discussions in class. The results strongly indicate that iLike represents a variety to the traditional language lecture, and that the students are more active and participates more in lectures where iLike is being used.
The article also presents the evaluation strategy for the project. It will present possible outcome, target numbers concerning dissemination and exploitation and discuss why teachers, students and other stakeholders will benefit from using iLike on a regular basis. .
The development of iLike will be funded by the EU-Commission.