Toward a Mobile Open and Social Language Learning Paradigm

Read, Timothy; Barcena, Elena; Traxler, John and Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes (2017). Toward a Mobile Open and Social Language Learning Paradigm. In: EDEN 2017 Book of Abstracts, European Distance and E-Learning Network, Hungary, p. 12.


Online courses are beginning to move away from closed platforms onto open ones, where social interaction between the students has become a key element in the learning process. As awareness grows of the existence of such courses, the number of students taking them, or signing up to take them, has dramatically increased in the last decade. Hence, massive open social learning has become an educational phenomenon that is receiving a great deal of attention within the expert educational community. In the SWITCHED-ON project funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, the authors are analysing the affordances of open social learning, in the widest sense, for second language learning. In this work, mobile technology is conceived as the main way in which second language learners can interact and carry out their learning effectively. The hypothesis underlying the work is that given the complex, hectic and mobile nature of 21st century societies, open social language learning can take place with a backbone defined by mobile technology. This will represent a new paradigm that is both inclusive for a wider range of language learners than is the case with current open online courses, and is more effective, since it blurs the boundaries of everyday life with learning. This article gives an initial exploration of some of the issues related to the conceptual space of possibilities for such a paradigm, as a step toward its formalisation in a systematic manner.

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