Kathryn Murphy-Judy (Commonwealth University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-141-6.ch008
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Students studying abroad already don’t leave home without their mobile devices—phones, MP3 players, netbooks, laptops. The potential for m-learning for these device-toting learners holds great promise that can easily be capitalized upon by the savvy teacher. Learners studying abroad who are outfitted with m-learning devices which include well-chosen Web 2.0 resources derive immediate and long range benefits. Furthermore, when organized to communicate with learners back home, the travelers help create a transnational community of practice that shares the wealth of the experiential learning. This chapter takes a tour of mobile learning technologies and techniques that enhance and extend the study abroad experience far beyond the reach of a small group fortunate enough to travel. As has long been the case with CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) and TELL (Technology Enhanced Language Learning), and now with MALL (Mobile Assisted Language Learning), experts note that well-chosen resources, along with carefully structured and planned activities, enhance various aspects of language acquisition and social interaction. After the literature review, this chapter considers lessons gleaned from the author’s trails, trials, and errors across a range of technologies and borders. It ends with suggestions for ways to optimize iStudyAbroad today and tomorrow.
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We are poised at the on-ramp for a thrilling m-learning adventure that couples anytime, anywhere mobility with active, experiential learning along individualized, social, or mixed pathways. Mediated learning on the road, whether to local sites of linguistic and cultural interest or as an integral part of a study abroad (SA) experience, extends and deepens the impact for those who travel and, if well mapped out, for those back home as well. The convergence of Web 2.0 (a.k.a. the social web) with mobile devices affords foreign language learners and teachers exciting opportunities both on and off the planned itinerary.

The utility of mobile devices for study abroad programs is multiple. Fingertip communication can both minimize risks and create opportunities across the full range of study abroad aspects, including finances, transportation, safety, and, of course, education and communication. For example, timely access to information resources may help defray certain costs: access to restaurant prices, ticket availability, and transportation schedules can provide powerful money- and time-saving opportunities. Safety and health problems, too, are more easily resolved with instantaneous information and access. In this chapter, however, the focus is pedagogical. Already, devices like cell phones connect learners abroad with both L1 and L2 communities also abroad. Families and friends back home make sure that travelers have a cell phone or some option that allows a reasonable amount of communication. Yet, when the experience instantly connects learners abroad with learners back home, the learning advantages for everyone can increase dramatically. By charting these initial inroads of m-learning into the realm of study abroad, this chapter will help instructors learn how to implement iStudyAbroad projects, by providing:

  • a review of the literature on study abroad (SA) and mobile devices for second language learning and acquisition while abroad;

  • a discussion of possible integrations of iStudyAbroad based mainly on the author’s technology-enhanced study abroad programs; and

  • solutions and workarounds for some of the issues, as well as future directions.


Review Of The Literature

Literature abounds on study abroad (SA) best practices for second language learning and acquisition (SARG, 2005). It is generally agreed that the more learners immerse themselves in the target language and culture, the more they learn about the language, culture and themselves, and the more linguistic and cultural skills they acquire (Dufon & Churchill, 2006). The ‘ugly truth’ is, as Kinginger (2008) acknowledges, “while SA is certainly a productive context for language learning, its outcomes are neither as dramatic nor as equally distributed among students as one might hope they would be.” Addressing the study abroad context, Barron (2003) proposes to increase sociopragmatics, that is, the development of socially appropriate speech strategies (the development of which appears to surpass pragmalinguistics, that is, those structural variations chosen for specific discursive effect) by having learners engage in ethnographic projects while immersed in the target culture. She also prescribes pre-departure and post-return seminars for the mutual benefit of upcoming SA students and returning students. Although she does not mention CALL, TELL, or MALL, both of her interventions -- the ethnographic projects and the student exchanges are ripe for technological mediations, with MALL, perhaps, being most appropriate during a study abroad program.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Robert Fischer
Betty Rose Facer, M’hammed Abdous
Betty Rose Facer, M’hammed Abdous
Chapter 1
Lara Lomicka, Gillian Lord
This chapter explores current and potential pedagogical applications of academic podcasting in K-12 and higher education language learning... Sample PDF
Podcasting – Past, Present and Future: Applications of Academic Podcasting In and Out of the Language Classroom
Chapter 2
Claudia Fernández
This chapter addresses the production of podcasts as second language (L2) instructional materials developed by language instructors. The author... Sample PDF
Four L2 Learning Objectives to Guide Podcast Design
Chapter 3
Tony Gonzalez
Podcasting presents exciting new opportunities for delivering pedagogical content, but, for effective learning, teaching second languages and their... Sample PDF
Going beyond Audio: Adding Multimedia to Podcasts for Foreign Language Education
Chapter 4
Maria Elena Corbeil, Joseph Rene Corbeil
Podcasting is an excellent way to engage students and to supplement the instructional materials used in face-to-face and online courses and in... Sample PDF
Getting Started: Academic Podcasting Made Simple
Chapter 5
Su-Ling Hsueh
Podcasts, blogs, and wikis are the best-liked Web 2.0 services used by language teachers for homework assignments or special projects. Although... Sample PDF
Challenges of Adopting Web 2.0 and Mobile 2.0 for Language Learning
Chapter 6
Daryl L. Beres
This chapter seeks to refocus the conversation about mobile-assisted language learning (MALL) from the instructor’s perspective to the student’s. I... Sample PDF
Mobile-Assisted Language Learning from the Student Perspective: Encouraging Effective Language Learning Strategies Outside of the Classroom
Chapter 7
Mario Daniel Martín, Elizabeth A. Beckmann
This chapter describes the genesis, implementation, and evaluation of an innovative approach to the intensive use of Academic Podcasting Technology... Sample PDF
Simulating Immersion: Podcasting in Spanish Teaching
Chapter 8
iStudyAbroad  (pages 133-146)
Kathryn Murphy-Judy
Students studying abroad already don’t leave home without their mobile devices—phones, MP3 players, netbooks, laptops. The potential for m-learning... Sample PDF
Chapter 9
Giovanna Summerfield
American universities are exploring new methods for internationalizing their curricula by applying on- and off-campus strategies and by providing... Sample PDF
Crossing Classroom Settings and Academic Disciplines while Crossing Geographical Boundaries
Chapter 10
Adrian Ting
As a result of this project, this chapter concludes that podcasts have a lot of potential, not only as an integrative and supplementary learning... Sample PDF
A Case Study of Using Podcasts in ESL Modules for Hong Kong Pre-Service Teachers and its Impact on their Attitudes toward Podcasting
Chapter 11
Ulugbek Nurmukhamedov, Randall Sadler
Language instructors often struggle to find useful and learner-friendly podcasts to supplement their language instruction. In an attempt to address... Sample PDF
Podcasts in Four Categories: Applications to Language Learning
Peter A. Lafford
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