INNOVATING LANGUAGE LEARNING THROUGH MOBILE TECHNOLOGY: AN INTEGRATED SKILLS PROJECT APPROACH
Zayed University (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Teachers are often faced with the challenge of bringing real-life contexts into our teaching environment in order to make learning content more meaningful and motivating for our learners.
As we all know, learning a language involves developing sets of skills that allow learners to become fluent. These sets of skills can be primary such as Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking or related skills such as Syntax, Usage, Pronunciation and Meaning. Unfortunately, teachers sometimes fall into the trap of teaching these skills in isolation, which is contrary to the integrated way that people use language skills in normal communication.
If we give our students opportunities to develop these language abilities through an integrated-skill approach using real-life scenarios and adequate technology tools, they will be much more engaged motivated in learning the language. One powerful way to help our students develop these skills is through integrated skills projects (ISP’s) where students not only develop language skills but also 21st Century skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and technology literacy necessary to perform successfully in the current digital age.
Tablets and smartphones make excellent tools to develop this kind of projects as they facilitate access to a myriad of multimedia resources and enable the development of key soft skills such as collaboration, communication and project management. More importantly, these tools allow students to boost their creativity transforming them into authors of their own learning content as they create their culminating products for their projects.
In this presentation I will demonstrate how I use mobile learning technology to create a workflow that supports the development of Integrated Skills Projects under the principles of Project Based Learning at each of its stages: Planning, Execution, Delivery of the Culminating Product and Reflection. In addition, I will outline the essential elements of a successful project and share useful tips and practical advice for educators to get started with their own ISP’s.