A Review of Mobile Language Learning Applications: Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities
Mobile language learning applications have the potential to transform the way languages are learned. This study examined the fifty most popular commercially-available language learning applications for mobile phones and evaluated them according to a wide range of criteria. Three major trends were found: first, apps tend to teach vocabulary in isolated units rather than in relevant contexts; second, apps minimally adapt to suit the skill sets of individual learners; and third, apps rarely offer explanatory corrective feedback to learners. Despite a pedagogical shift toward more communicative approaches to language learning, these apps are behaviorist in nature. To better align with Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and L2 pedagogical research, we recommend the incorporation of more contextualized language, adaptive technology, and explanatory feedback in these applications.
Adkins, S. S. (2008). The US Market for Mobile Learning Products and Services: 2008- 2013 Forecast and Analysis. Ambient Insight, 5.
App Annie (2015). http://www.appannie.com/top/.
Bachman, L. F., & Palmer, A. S. (1996). Language testing in practice: Designing and developing useful language tests. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Blyth, C. (2007). A constructivist approach to grammar: Teaching teachers to teach aspect. The Modern Language Journal, 81(1), 50-66. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/329160. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.1997.tb01626.x
Brown, H. D. (2007). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy. White Plains, NY: Pearson Education.
Burston, J. (2015). Twenty years of MALL project implementation: A meta-analysis of learning outcomes. ReCALL, 27(01), 4-20. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0958344014000159
Canale, M., & Swain, M. (1980). Theoretical bases of communicative approaches to second language teaching and testing. Applied Linguistics, 1, 1–47. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/1.1.1
Carroll, S., & Swain, M. (1993). Explicit and implicit negative feedback. Studies in second language acquisition, 15(03), 357-386. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263100012158
Chen, C-M and Hsu, S-H. (2008) Personalized mobile English vocabulary learning system based on item response theory and learning memory cycle. Computers & Education, 51(2), 624-645. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2007.06.011
Chinnery, G. (2006). Going to the MALL: Mobile Assisted. Language Learning, Language Learning & Technology, 10(1), 9-16.
Duman, G., Orhon, G., & Gedik, N. (2015). Research trends in mobile assisted language learning from 2000 to 2012. ReCALL, 27(02), 197-216. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0958344014000287
Ellis, R., Loewen, S., & Erlam, R. (2006). Implicit and explicit corrective feedback and the acquisition of L2 grammar. Studies in second language acquisition, 28(02), 339–368. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263106060141
Edwards, J. (2014, February 12). A 'Dark Pattern' In Flappy Bird Reveals How Apple's Mysterious App Store Ranking Algorithm Works. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/how-apple-app-store-ranking-algorithm-works-2014-2
Fosnot, C. T., & Perry, R. S. (1996). Constructivism: A psychological theory of learning. Constructivism: Theory, perspectives, and practice, 8-33.
Gamper, J., & Knapp, J. (2002). A review of intelligent CALL systems. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 15(4), 329-342. https://doi.org/10.1076/call.15.4.329.8270
Godwin-Jones, R. (2011). Emerging technologies: Mobile apps for language learning. Language Learning & Technology, 15(2), 2-11. Retrieved from http://llt.msu.edu/issues/june2011/emerging.pdf
Grohtjahn, R. (1987). On the methodological basis of introspective methods. In C. Faerch & G. Kasper (Eds.), Introspection in second language research (54-82). Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters.
Hickey (2015, March 8). Learning the Duolingo – how one app speaks volumes for language learning. The Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/mar/08/learning-the-duolingo-how-oneapp-speaks-volumes-for-language-learning
Hymes, D.H. (1972) "On Communicative Competence" In: J.B. Pride and J. Holmes (eds.) Sociolinguistics. Selected Readings. Harmondsworth: Penguin, pp. 269–293.
Kukulska-Hulme, A., & Bull, S. (2009). Theory-based support for mobile language learning: Noticing and recording. International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies, 3, 12-18. https://doi.org/10.3991/ijim.v3i2.740
Kukulska-Hulme, A., & Shield, L. (2007). An Overview of Mobile Assisted Language Learning: Can mobile devices support collaborative practice in speaking and listening. In conference EuroCALL'07 Conference Virtual Strand.
Kukulska-Hulme, A., & Shield, L. (2008). An overview of mobile assisted language learning: From content delivery to supported collaboration and interaction. ReCALL, 20(03), 271–289. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0958344008000335
Lee, Kwang-wu. "English teachers' barriers to the use of computer-assisted language learning." The Internet TESL Journal 6.12 (2000): 1-8.
Lyster, R. & Ranta, L. (1997). Corrective feedback and learner uptake: Negotiation of form in communicative classrooms. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 19(xx), 37-66. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0272263197001034
Jurafsky, D., & Martin, J. H. (2008). Speech and language processing: An introduction to speech recognition. Computational Linguistics and Natural Language Processing. Prentice Hall.
Kerr, P (2013). A Short Guide to Adaptive Learning in English Language Teaching. The Round. Retrieved from http://the-round.com/wpcontent/uploads/downloads/2014/07/A-Short-Guide-to-Adaptive-Learning-in-EnglishLanguage-Teaching2.pdf.
Lee, J.F. & VanPatten, B. (2003). Making communicative language teaching happen (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Moundridou, M., & Virvou, M. (2003). Analysis and design of a web-based authoring tool generating intelligent tutoring systems. Computers & Education, 40 (2), 157–181. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0360-1315(02)00119-7
Nah, K. C., White, P., & Sussex, R. (2008). The potential of using a mobile phone to access the Internet for learning EFL listening skills within a Korean context. ReCALL, 20(03), 331-347. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0958344008000633
Nation, P. (2015). Principles guiding vocabulary learning through extensive reading. Reading in a Foreign Language, 27(1), 136.
Oxford, R. L. (1997). Cooperative learning, collaborative learning, and interaction: Three communicative strands in the language classroom. The Modern Language Journal, 81(4), 443–456. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.1997.tb05510.x
Oxford, R. L. (1995). Linking theories of learning with intelligent computer-assisted language learning (ICALL). In V.M. Holland, M.R. Sams, & J.D. Kaplan (Eds.) Intelligent language tutors: Theory shaping technology (359-369). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.: Mahwah, New Jersey.
Pellegrino, J., Chudowski, N., and Glaser, R. (2001). Knowing what students know: the science and design of assessment. National Academies Press.
Purpura, J. E. (2004). Assessing grammar. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/cbo9780511733086
Reinders, H., & Pegrum, M. (2016). Supporting Language Learning on the Move: An Evaluative Framework for Mobile Language Learning Resources. In B. Tomlinson (Ed.), Research and Materials Development for Language Learning (pp. 219-232). New York, NY: Routledge.
Sauvignon, S. J. (2002). Interpreting communicative language teaching: Contexts and concerns in teacher education. New Haven: Yale University.
Statista Inc. (2015). Number of apps available in leading app stores as of July 2015. Retrieved from http://www.statista.com/statistics/276623/number-of-apps-available-inleading-app-stores/
Stockwell, G. (2008). Investigating learner preparedness for and usage patterns of mobile learning. ReCALL, 20(3), 253-270. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0958344008000232
Sweeney, P. & Moore. C. (2012). Mobile Apps for Learning Vocabulary: Categories, Evaluation and Design Criteria for Teachers and Developers. International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching, 2(4), 1-16, October-December 2012. https://doi.org/10.4018/ijcallt.2012100101
Ur, P. (2013). The communicative approach revisited. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://www.cambridge.com.mx/pennyur/Penny-TCAR.pdf
Wang, S, and Smith, S. (2013) Reading and grammar learning through mobile phones. Language Learning & Technology(17)(3): 117-134.
Warschauer, M. (1996b). Computer-assisted language learning: an introduction. In S. Fotos (Ed.), Multimedia language teaching, 3–20. Tokyo: Logos.
Warschauer, M., & Healey, D. (1998). Computers and language learning: An overview. Language teaching, 31(02), 57–71. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261444800012970
Wu, T. Sung, W. and Burston, J (2011) Reexamining the effectiveness of vocabulary learning via mobile phones. Turkish Online Journal on Educational Technology, 10(3), 203-214.
Metrics powered by PLOS ALM
- There are currently no refbacks.
Cited-By (articles included in Crossref)
This journal is a Crossref Cited-by Linking member. This list shows the references that citing the article automatically, if there are. For more information about the system please visit Crossref site
1. Learning isolated polysemous words: identifying the intended meaning of language learners in informal ubiquitous language learning environments
Victoria Abou-Khalil, Samar Helou, Brendan Flanagan, Mei-Rong Alice Chen, Hiroaki Ogata
Smart Learning Environments vol: 6 issue: 1 year: 2019
This journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.
Universitat Politècnica de València
e-ISSN: 1695-2618 http://dx.doi.org/10.4995/eurocall