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Darrell Wilkinson


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Mobile language learning using smartphones

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Darrell Wilkinson

  1. 1. Darrell Wilkinson Soka University
  2. 2. Use of smartphone applications to help learners improve: Pronunciation (word and sentence level) Listening comprehension (general and TOEFL/IELTS) Vocabulary (consolidation) Speaking accuracy (with focus on TOEFL iBT/IELTS) Speaking fluency (words per minute) Reading speed and fluency
  3. 3. Dragon Dictation  Students set language to U.S. or British English depending on their purpose (TOEFL, IELTS, Study Abroad location)  Students are given sentences/short paragrapghs/conversations to listen to a read out.  Students given pre-course test:  5 sentences  Record accuracy rate  Students repeatedly practice throughout the semester (largely outside of class).  Students given mid and post course test. Results  Accuracy rates improved from approximately 50-60% to 80-90%  Students reportedly enjoyed the activity
  4. 4. Smartphone Applications:  TED Talks, You Tube, TOEFL/TOEIC Apps, ListenUP Websites: ,, Students can  carry out listening anywhere; do not need a PC room  keep a listening log and share resources/experiences with peers Results:  Students did an additional 3-4 hours of listening per week  Better increases in TOEFL listening scores (25% better gains than compared to previous courses).
  5. 5.  Various Vocab Applications  Word Cards: Anki  Specific Word Lists:  GSL/NGSL  AWL/NAWL  TOEIC/TOEFL  Allows students to study, take tests, record progress, mark cards etc. anywhere.  Most students used above apps to support/consolidate words learned using traditional word cards.
  6. 6.  Example: using a smartphone voice recorder to improve test performance:  Students record TOEFL speaking test responses  Then listen and make notes/partly transcribe  Get peer feedback on + and – points, and receive a grade  Repeat, trying to improve grammar, organization, vocabulary etc.  Teacher collects via email and gives feedback (not on all)  Results  Average of 20 additional speaking practices over the semester.  They became very accurate raters (quality/accuracy of feedback)  Score increases on TOEFL speaking tests were significantly greater than in previous/other courses.
  7. 7.  Twice a week (1 in class, 1 outside):  Students do a 1 minute recorded ‘Quickspeak’  Then speaker and partner listen, count, and record words per minute  Enter word count on a graph  Results:  Average WPM increase of 40-50  Students are speaking at about 140-150 WPM  Native speaker average is about 180
  8. 8. All of the activities described have proven to be:  easily incorporated into a language course  great supplementary activities  effective in increasing time-on-task and engagement  effective for helping learners make significant improvements in a variety of skills
  9. 9.