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Concurrent use of mobile assisted language learning and communicative classroom practices
This paper presents a mixed-methods approach to researching the viability of supplementing mobile-assisted language learning (MALL) apps focusing on receptive skills with a course curriculum that emphasizes meaningful communication, mitigation of error-aversion tendencies, cultural awareness, and presentation skills. Kim & Kwon (2012) and Burston (2014b) have lamented the fact that most MALL applications do not take full advantage of technological affordances to create opportunities for learners to use their devices as tools of interaction. Instead, apps that focus on receptive skills including vocabulary memorization and grammatical rules are more popular. Using Rosell-Aguilar’s (2017) framework for the evaluation of language learning applications, we can determine that many modern apps are not interactive, engaging, or able to fulfill the pedagogical potential of our current level of technology. This paper acknowledges that creating more apps focusing on productive skills is necessary but focuses on how to create a robust curriculum surrounding such receptive-skills apps. Learners improved as shown by standardized test scores, learner reflection, and surveys. Adult language learners working for a company were assigned 50 units of the online mobile assisted language learning application, ReallyEnglish, while concurrently taking weekly hourlong lessons that focused on meaningful communication, mitigation of error-aversion tendencies, cultural awareness, and presentation skills. Learner growth was measured by TOEIC Tests, observed classroom performance, and post-treatment surveys. Learners were given pre- and post-treatment TOEIC tests. A paired sample t-test showed significant improvement. Post-treatment surveys also revealed that learners felt much more confident and comfortable communicating in English.
Justin Parker Pool is a member of the Department of English Education at Osaka Kyoiku University. He has obtained a master’s degree of applied linguistics from the University of Boston Massachusetts. His research interests include authentic materials, journal writing, ICT, and the use of games in the classroom