The Smartphone and the SEL Learner
16 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2020 Publication Status: Under Review
The Saudi English language (henceforth SEL) learner at college level is a digital native with a natural affinity to smartphones. Mobile technology is almost fully normalized in the daily activities of SEL learners, albeit outside the classroom. This study explores, and compares, SEL learners and their teachers’ use of mobile phone technology to support learning and teaching, familiarity with mobile-assisted language learning tools and activities, perceptions of the advantages of mobile-assisted language learning, and perceptions of the constraints on the normalization of mobile technology in the classroom. Data were collected through online survey forms and quantitatively analyzed for patterns of responses among respondents and significant differences across respondent types. Analysis reveals statistically significant differences in the perceptions of SEL learners and their teachers, which result from variations in digital competence and result in denying learners the affordances of mobile technology for language learning. The paper concludes with a presentation of mobile-assisted video projects produced collaboratively by SEL learners in a practical demonstration of their familiarity with mobile-assisted language learning applications and ability to combine linguistic with digital competence to create multimodal content using Web 2.0 tools and resources.
Keywords: Collaborative learning, improving classroom practice, Mobile learning
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