Researching Mobile-Assisted English Language Learning Among Adult Distance Learners in China

Kan, Qian and Tang, Jinlan (2020). Researching Mobile-Assisted English Language Learning Among Adult Distance Learners in China. In: Information Resources Management Association ed. Mobile Devices in Education: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice. IGI Global, pp. 180–209.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-7998-1757-4.ch012

Abstract

Guided by the conceptual framework for next generation designs for mobile-assisted language learning (MALL) in informal setting, our study investigates how mobile devices impact the learning practices and habits amongst adult distant learners of English at a higher education institution in China. Data sources include quantitative data of 148 completed responses to an online survey and qualitative data from follow-up email interviews. The study demonstrates that students' main motivation for engaging in mobile assisted English learning is to fill in the gaps in their daily schedule in order to maximize available time, and the majority use mobile devices to support formal course learning. The skills and knowledge areas practiced with mobile devices are listening, followed by speaking and pronunciation, vocabulary, reading, and translation. Our study also reveals that teachers play a very limited role as perceived by students, while students expect more support from teachers for their out-of-class hour mobile assisted language learning. The research findings bear significant pedagogical implications in terms of integrating MALL into language learning curriculum, learner support and the need for continuous teacher training.

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