Mobile technologies for language learning and teaching: an exploratory investigation

Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes; Shield, Lesley and Hassan, Xavière (2010). Mobile technologies for language learning and teaching: an exploratory investigation. In: Gimeno Sanz, Ana ed. New Trends in Computer-Assisted Language Learning: Working Together. Gandia, Spain: Macmillan ELT, pp. 167–174.


A survey of publications in the field of mobile-assisted language learning (Kukulska-Hulme and Shield 2008) revealed that mobile phones were the most frequently-used device followed by personal digital assistants and other handhelds, while personal listening devices received slightly less attention. While offering a general indicator of trends in the use of mobile devices for educational purposes, surveys of this sort provide a limited view of actual use in language learning and teaching. Yet the widespread ownership of mobile and wireless devices means that learners and teachers are increasingly in a position to engage in activities motivated by their needs and circumstances, including those arising from greater mobility and travel. This leads us to ask how mobile devices are actually used inside and outside the classroom, and in various flexible forms of learning. The small study presented in this paper focused on a review of mobile assisted language learning (MALL) publications from 2008-9 and an online survey of language practitioners. The survey results indicate that practitioners are developing and using MALL activities, but few of them are disseminating this practice through publications or presentations.

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