Implementing Linguistic Landscape investigations with M-learning for Intercultural Competence Development

Implementing Linguistic Landscape investigations with M-learning for Intercultural Competence Development

Jacek Tadeusz Waliński (Institute of English Studies, University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/ijmbl.2014040102
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Portable multimedia devices shape the intensity of intercultural contacts not only through content consumption but also through content creation. Enabling learners to participate in content exchange via the Web 2.0 paradigm (audiences as both media consumers and media creators) can be employed to create new forms of acquiring knowledge. This study demonstrates an application of m-learning in a situated in-the-field examination of cultural diversity with the Linguistic Landscape approach. The application is shown from the pedagogical perspective of authentic, informal learning activities conducted in the framework of connectivism. The examination of cultural diversity is conducted in the context of a local environment, i.e. a location familiar to learners. This paper presents a scenario of m-learning activities intended to demonstrate that cultural awareness is often biased by subjective perspectives and stereotypes. Autonomous discovery of this phenomenon results in elevation of learners' openness toward other cultures, which contributes to intercultural competence development.
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Informal, Personalized, Situated M-Learning

Mobile Learning (henceforth m-learning) is often associated with learning delivered by mobile (handheld) devices, such as smartphones, tablets, portable music players, etc., usually connected wirelessly to the Internet. Although such devices are central to conducting m-learning activities, technocentric conceptualizations of m-learning have been recently viewed as rather superficial (Kukulska-Hulme, 2010; JISC, 2011). Defining mobile education in terms of utilized devices seems to be constraining, since it is limited to current technological instantiations, which, at the pace of current technological innovation, tend to become obsolete before gaining widespread use in education.

Other proponents of m-learning (Winters, 2006; Sharples, Milrad, Sánchez & Vavoula, 2009) conceptualize m-learning in terms of the mobility of learning. This aspect is highly important, since extending learners’ mobility changes both the nature of learning and the variety of ways in which it can be delivered. However, as noted by Traxler (2009, p. 15), the nature of learning mobility can be viewed differently by different people. For some learners it may be associated with reading on a laptop computer while commuting to school; for others it may be hands-free listening to audiobooks or podcasts while exercising.

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