Mobile technologies for (English) language learning: An exploration in the context of Bangladesh

Power, Tom and Shrestha, Prithvi (2010). Mobile technologies for (English) language learning: An exploration in the context of Bangladesh. In: IADIS International Conference: Mobile Learning 2010, 19-21 Mar 2010, Porto, Portugal.



Milton’s (2002) literature review of languages, technology and learning found that language laboratories “…proved to be a useful tool, but only one tool, in the hands of a good teacher, and a huge waste of time and money in the hands of a bad teacher” (p16) with computer language labs being “..something of an oddity… [with] no clear method or best practice for using them’ (p17). Instead, Milton identified numerous examples of effective language learning supported by broadcast (radio) or recorded (tape, CD) audio. Recently, research has begun to focus upon mobile learning (e.g. Naismith et al, 2004), but the potential of mobile media players (for example, the iPod) is only recently being explored. It has been suggested that language learning is one of the disciplines particularly likely to benefit from widespread ownership of mobile devices such as phones and media players (Kukulska-Hulme, 2006). For example, Rosell-Aguilar (2007) has begun to develop a theoretically informed pedagogy of podcasting, as a means of providing language-learning resources on mobile devices, suggesting podcasts offer a number of advantages for language learning (p. 479). This paper examines the opportunities for mobile language learning in the context of Bangladesh, where mobile devices are becoming increasingly affordable and ubiquitous. It is hoped that this paper also provides some insights into mobile learning for language education policy makers, distance education institutions and language teachers.

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