Using mobile devices for language learning in a higher education distance learning context: motivations and behaviours

Demouy, Valérie; Kan, Qian; Eardley, Annie and Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes (2013). Using mobile devices for language learning in a higher education distance learning context: motivations and behaviours. In: EUROCALL 2013, 11-14 Sep 2013, Évora, Portugal.

URL: http://www.eurocall-languages.org/conf2013/modules...

Abstract

In the Department of Languages at the Open University, we have always been keen to explore the use of new technologies to deliver our language modules more effectively and dynamically. As mobile learning is playing an increasingly significant part in distance learning and e-learning, we set out to explore the motivations behind the use of mobile phones, tablets and such devices for language learning.
In this project, we are running a survey over a selection of our language modules covering all levels from Beginners to Advanced and most languages we currently offer. The survey will be repeated over the next two years, in order to assess any change in practices and motivations. The aim of the research is to look into students’ motivations and behaviour regarding the use of mobile devices for language learning and to find out how mobile devices feature in language learning habits. We are particularly interested in students’ motivations for using mobile devices to learn the language they are currently studying. How did they get started? Has their motivation changed since they began using the device for this purpose? We are also keen to find out whether their use of mobile devices for language learning evolves and what mobile language learning materials, services or resources they would like to have available to them in the future as part of their studies. In addition, following investigation done in previous projects, we are also looking further into students’learning habits with mobile devices. Are mobile language learning activities an important and planned routine feature in their language learning? Or on the contrary are they more random and opportunistic? Are students spending more time on language learning as a result of using mobile devices?
We will give an account of the current situation regarding the use of mobile devices for language learning in our university, and report on the first round of findings of the project in the context of recent developments in mobile learning at institutional level.

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