Mobile Technology and Learner Autonomy in Language Learning

Mobile Technology and Learner Autonomy in Language Learning

Zineb Djoub (Abdelhamid Ibn Badis University of Mostaganem, Algeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8789-9.ch012
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Abstract

Mobile-Assisted Language Learning (MALL) provides learners with the chance to experience new learning modes that go beyond the classroom context, offering them more flexibility, learning choices in terms of language content, ways of its delivery, learning space, and time, thereby enhancing their learning autonomy. But how are English teachers using MALL? In the attempt to answer this question, a survey is carried out with a sample of 42 English teachers. The results show that the limited use of such devices is not likely to help the learners develop autonomy since it does not go beyond the objective of enhancing their knowledge of this language. This study also reveals learners' difficulties in using these devices, the skills needed, and the kind of support these teachers require. In light of these findings, a list of recommendations is suggested to enhance MALL.
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Mobile Assisted Language Learning: Devices And Applications

Mobile learning refers to “the use of mobile or wireless devices for the purpose of learning while on the move” (Park, 2011, p.79). Such devices include cellphones, personal media players, personal digital assistants (PDAs), besides smartphones and wireless laptops (Kukulska-Hulme, 2006). They can deliver high quality multimedia stored on internal drives, removable memory cards or they can be accessed over wireless and telecommunication networks (Pim, 2013). The use of mobile learning technologies is gaining more support with the increasing innovations brought to its applications, the availability of Internet access and the popularity of social software (blogs, twitter, YouTube, etc.). In fact, “in 2003, 61 per cent of the world’s population had access to a mobile cell signal, rising to 90 per cent by 2010” (Kelly & Minges, 2012, p. 9).

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