Smart Learning: A Guide to Integrating Smart Phones into the Classroom

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The popularity of smart phones and tablet computers is dramatically increasing in the business world. Many business English teachers are already accustomed to students using phones as dictionaries and …

The popularity of smart phones and tablet computers is dramatically increasing in the business world. Many business English teachers are already accustomed to students using phones as dictionaries and browsers. Yet, with most mobile platforms come a host of resources for both teachers and learners of business English.
This workshop will demonstrate how teachers can use their smart phones or tablets to improve business English skills. First, we will incorporate the phone's dictionary and voice recording capabilities into classroom lessons. Then, we will focus on the smart phone's media options as a means of improving business English skills such as giving presentations and making small talk.
Ultimately participants should walk away from this workshop with knowledge of how to use their phones as a supplementary teaching resource.

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  • 1. Smart Learning
    A Guide to Integrating Smartphones into Business English Learning
    Kristen Acquaviva. June 25th, 2011. BESIG Summer Symposium. Preston, England
  • 2. Smartphones and Mobile Learning
    Smart Phones
    Mobile Learning
    What exactly is a smart phone?
    There is no official industry definition, but it is a phone with integrated PDA and cellular phone features.
    M-learning: learning through the use of mobile technologies, such as smart phones or tablet computers.
    M-learning is meant to supplement traditional learning materials, not supplant them
  • 3. What are the benefits of using company-issued smartphones with Business English learners?
    Are familiar to learners
    Require few additional resources
    Are learner-controlled
    Promote interactive learning
    Are realistic
    Are not classroom dependent
    Promote independent learning
    Are fun!
    Photo Credit : CBC News © 2011
  • 4. How to incorporate smartphones when teaching Business English:
    Integrate smartphones realistically in communicative tasks
    Practice Business English skills using smartphones creatively
    Seek out applications promoting Business English learning
  • 5. Makes tasks more relevant, authentic, and personalized
    As an example, the phone’s GPS could be used in tasks where learners have to give and take directions or practice asking indirect questions.
    What other smartphone applications (e.g. calendar, contact list, browser, dictionary, text messages) can be incorporated into functional language practice?
    Using smartphones in communicative tasks
  • 6. Calendar: make and change arrangements, practice dates
    Browser: get and paraphrase information about products, companies, or relevant topics
    Email/Texts: practice sending and receiving short messages
    Contacts: give or confirm information, spelling, describe jobs and responsibilities
    As in real life:
  • 7. Many applications such as the camera or voice recorder can enhance skills practice.
    For instance, learners could take pictures of and describe product features, or use the application store and describe a given application’s benefits.
    How could learners practice extended listening, presenting, making suggestions, giving sales reports, and/or giving instructions with smartphones?
    Channeling Business English skills by using standard smartphone applications creatively
  • 8. Listening: podcasts, YouTube, (e.g. TED talks)
    Presenting: camcorder (with or without sound), images from internet or gallery to be used as visual aids
    Trends: current stock reports
    Reported speech: news, weather updates
    Making suggestions and recommendations: social networking applications like FourSquare and Yelp
    Giving instructions: changing phone settings, explaining application features
    Skill Practice Using Mobile Phone Applications
  • 9. Not all need to be geared towards learning English: some business-oriented applications are wonderful for middle and upper level learners, such as Dale Carnegie’s Secrets of Success or Howcast.
    For example, in a task with Howcast, learners could first explain a process, watch the corresponding video, recreate the instructions from the video together, and finally provide narration for the video on mute to practice giving instructions and explanations.
    However, to keep the lesson learner-centered, the app must be accessible on their devices
    Using Applications Smartly
  • 10. Learning Business English with Smartphone Applications
    What applications have you found particularly fun and useful with your learners?
  • 11.
    Thank you for your attention!