Mobile Technologies Put Language Learning into Young Second Language Learners' Hands

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Abstract

This paper examines the use of mobile technologies such as iPods and tablets in promoting the development of oral competencies and literacy skills in early French immersion classrooms in Canada. The paper is based on a two-year collaborative action research project involving 16 teachers in two schools. Data collection involved digital ethnographic observation in the classroom, students' artifacts (examples of the use of iPods and tablets by students), teacher interviews, and student interviews. The findings demonstrate that the young language learners use these mobile devices as tools to practice not only their oral skills in the target language through individual and group activities, but also their literacy skills (reading and writing). In addition, by providing more authentic and frequent experiences in using the target language, the use of the iPods and tablets has positive outcomes on the development of oral language skills. The young learners also demonstrate an increase in their motivation to use the target language following the use of the mobile devices. The results indicate the potential of the use of oral language and iPods/tablets in promoting the development of early literacy skills (reading and writing). The iPods/tablets also provide a kind of scaffolding to the writing process by linking the oral language with the written form. Finally, the use of the oral language with the support of mobile technologies promotes new forms of assessment tools for the teachers; it also promotes self-assessment by the learners, as well as peer assessment.

Keywords: mobile technologies, young learners, oral language, second language, literacy skills, assessment.

References

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Pellerin, Martine. (2012). Mobile Technologies Put Language Learning into Young Second Language Learners' Hands. In Linda Bradley, Sylvie Thouësny (Eds), CALL: Using, Learning, Knowing, EUROCALL Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden, 22-25 August 2012, Proceedings (pp. 240-244). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2012.000059

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