Posted by Viela, Leslie and Lexie



English learning and mobile phone


Nowadays, when you walk onto any university campus in Japan, you will find a majority of students carrying mobile phones. Many will be silently tapping away, composing or reading e-mail, as they walk between classes. Japanese young people have been quick to adopt a mobile technology that allows them to email their friends and access the Web as they move through their daily schedule. Therefore, the exploration of to what extent mobile phones were being utilized for educational purposes among university students, and to measure students’ reactions to educational materials for foreign language learning developed specifically for mobile phones has been brought out for study.

Recent research concerning the brain and learning indicates that retention of a new word or concept depends on the quality and frequency of the information processing activities (Hulstijn 2001). However, in many educational institutions around the world, the amount of class time is still very limited. Thornton and Houser (2005) believe that mobile technology can help extend learner opportunities in meaningful ways. With that in mind, they surveyed students at the university to determine patterns of usage of mobile devices, the mobile phone functions they use, and the types of educational activities they consider useful for mobile phones to make the mobile phone’s function come into play.

Case study

In the study of Thornton and Houser (2005), they first polled 333 Japanese university students to investigate their utilization of mobile phone in order to know to what extent mobile phones are used for educational purposes. They then introduced two types of materials designed for EFL learners to use on their mobile phones, Learning on the Move (LOTM) and Vidioms. LOTM intends to improve students’ interval study by sending English materials to them at time intervals through mobile phone emails. While Vidioms, gives visual explanations of English idioms based on the multimedia capabilities of mobile phones. Some experiments were conducted to measure students’ reactions to these materials, designed for learning English on mobile phones.


The survey shows that every participant owned a mobile phone, and that the most frequently used activity was email. The researchers then compared mobile phone email with PC email, finding that mobile e-mail was used much more frequently than PC email, with 99% of participants reporting using mobile phone email and only 43% for PC email. Therefore, the researchers continued to investigate how these students use their mobile phone email for educational purposes and the kind of education functions that students want to have on their mobile phone. The survey results show that only a small number of students used mobile email for educational purposes. And it suggested that administrative tasks such as receiving notifications (class cancelation, room changes, etc.) were the most desired function for most of students (62%).

As for experiments based on the two educational materials designed for mobile phones, the results are generally positive. When they receive English vocabulary at timed intervals through mobile emails, students report that they learn more, compared with traditional materials on paper or on the web. And when English idioms are explained through multimedia, such as videos and animations, especially using video-capable mobile phone, students rate the experiment positively and rate its educational effectiveness highly.

Group View

The research conducted by Thornton and Houser suggests to us that a mobile phone can be a useful tool in English learning in the early stage of the smartphone. A majority of young adults in Japan, especially college students, owned one at the time of the study. They had adopted the mobile technology quickly. In the research, the mobile phone email was used as a medium, in which the teachers sent text materials to the students. Students went over the emails by using their mobile phones, in particular, on their way to home or school.

However, this research was done almost 10 years ago. Nowadays, the mobile technology is changing with each passing day. The mobile system has evolved from Java to android/IOS/windows. Various new applications spring up like mushrooms after the rain. Today, the idea, which uses email as the push media to enhance the language learning, is no longer prevalent. With the rise of social network sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Weibo, more and more teachers would like to post the learning materials in such sites. For example, in the Facebook, there is an account named “Learn English“. There are scores of text materials for English learning.

As for the other experiment in the research, students were asked to see the videos of English Idioms in their mobile phone and PDA. These Vidioms were in web form, which was viewed through the mobile website. Now, apps like “English Idioms Illustrated” can be installed to the mobile phone for language learning. The design of such app provides the learners a better learning experience.

Hence, we think that as technology progresses, teachers can make use of the new mobile technology to assist language learning. For example, though email is not that popular to be used as the tool to learn short pieces of English materials, teachers can still use it to send learners some extra information for English learning, such as a list of carefully selected English studying account in SNS.

Interestingly, we notice that the vocabulary items were sent repeatedly at time intervals through emails in the original study. This highlights the mobile function, which students can check at the time they received no matter where they are. We think that by sending the email according to times, students have chances to review the word again and again, which enhance the effect of memorizing the words. However, there are a great number of advanced apps that have similar function. For instance, the app “BAICIZHAN(百词斩)” is designed based on Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve, which will review the vocabulary repeatedly according to your memory of words. Also, it allows you to set alert at times based on your learning habits.


1. Can you think of any other way to use mobile phone for language teaching in the class?
2. From your (L2 student) perspective, will the integration of mobile technology applied to the language learning be effective or not? Why?

75 thoughts on “Using Mobile Phones in English Education

  1. Thanks for some suggestions of English learning apps or websites.
    I actually clicked the link and saved it for future use.
    There is an app called socrative that students can use their mobile phone to answer teachers’ questions in class.
    For example , the teacher puts forward a multiple choice question and students can choose their best answer. Immediately , the statistic of the result can be shown on the teacher’s screen. The name list of getting the right or wrong answers can be shown too. Some university classes use this so students can even react and respond in lectures. This is simple and useful, yet it is recommended to be used among more disciplined students.
    I think mobile devices are effective, depending on how you use it, how the teaching design is, how you manage the classroom.

    • One more thing I notice about Socrative is that it provides export data in Excel form in order to let the teacher know the mastery of the students, and in this way they can provide personalized customization to the students.

    • I had the experience of using Socrative when I was still a bachelor student. I am impressed by this software since it is extremely beneficial to teachers. Teachers can get all the quatitative data and qualitative feedbacks from students instantly. It saved teachers’ time to sort out the data.

      Many Asian students find this software comfortable to use. In Asian context, students are accustomed to be a passive receiver in classroom. Many of them are shy to raise their hands and speak up. Hence, this software is served as a platform for them to express their opinions.

    • I as well consider socrative a good app for class activities. Teachers are able to involve the students with the internet, no matter where they are. This is really convenient and makes the language learning process much more flexible.

    • Hi Fiona! I also want to share my experience of using Secrotive. I first knew this from Jeff’s Literature class. And I think the most obvious advantage of this app/website is that it could provide opportunities for every student to express their personal ideas, especially for those silent types who seldom answer teachers’ questions in class. Another advantage is that it provides the platform to let participants know their peers’ or classmates’ opinions, thus promoting mutual learning.

  2. Duolinguo is a great app for the interaction of students and teachers. It may be well applied in language learning class of beginners. It resembles puzzle games we talked about before. Users may feel a sense of dependence with the expansion of language learning. At the beginning of the study, it will ask you questions in your mother tongue and bonus or colorful effects will also be given in order to encourage you. The stripe in the panel shows the progress of learning. If the mistakes made reach the upper limit, you have to start from the beginning. This app enables students to learn automatically in a step-by-step way.
    Here is a brief Wiki introduction of Duolinguo:

    • I tried to learn French via Duolinguo^^ I found this app especially effective in language learning, since it provides learners with graded exercises. Integrated skills are trained through the exercises. Some of the exercises are locked until the learner attain a certain level. It makes me finish the exercises in a quicker way so that I can unlock the coming exercises. Besides all the exercises are theme-based, which enables me to apply the learnt dialogues in real life situations.

    • I think so. But unfortunately, I often get tired of learning. Without outside supervision, I often lose my patience and persistence in drills. So I think most students may face similar situation as me~~So I think some requirements should be stated clearly in advance. And the learning process should add teachers’ or parents’ assistance.

  3. Integrating mobile technology into language learning should be effective because in some ways it increases learners’ contact time with the target language. As I know so far there have been many mobile apps designed for language learning purposes with varying focuses (e.g., vocabulary, listening, reading comprehension, pronunciation). Learners can select the app that fits their personal learning need. However, most students may not know these available learning resources, so it is necessary for teachers to inform students of these resources and provide technical support if necessary, like corpora. I really think that language learning can become more efficient with the assistance of new technology.

    • Agree, we teachers can facilitate the learning and help students become more independent learners. So, if we were to provide them with the technical support, we probably need to first educate ourselves well also of all the options out there.

    • yeah i agree that learning language through mobile technology is quite effective. As you mentioned, most learners in this age, especially those younger learners, will spend most of their time a day on their cellphone. And it seems like people nowadays cannot live without their mobile phones. if language learning apps are integrated into cellphone, it can largely increase the learners’ time exposed to the target language. so we can take advantage of the characteristics of mobile phone to help L2 learning.

    • Apart from what you mentioned, integrating mobile technology into language learning breaks the limitation of time and space. People can learn language whenever and wherever they are.

      A mobile phone is not only a communication tool but can be a digital learning tool and entertainment. Thanks to the contribution of mobile technology, language learning is no longer fixed at classroom,

    • Yes, there is an increasing number of mobile apps for language learning. However, I think if students search and use a app by themselves, i.e. without teachers’ guidance. Some of those apps might not be reliable and may be misleading, and even some mistakes exist. So, it is pretty important for teachers to recommend some apps to students.

  4. I think mobile learning is more popular than before and it would be great to let students to get used to it. If you are an iPhone user, you would be lucky because it has its own apps “i Tunes U” for users to search for different courses to learn. I have “attended” one of the courses and it is pretty useful for me to gain some basic knowledge of that aspect. I find it very interesting because it does not confine students to sit still and learn in classroom, but allowing them to learn at anywhere, anytime and are more student-oriented and advocate learners’ autonomy.

    I have found an interesting tips that might give language teachers a glimpse of how it can be incorporate into class:

    • Hi, Phoebelau. Really thanks for your kind sharing. I’ve read though the article you recommended and the opinions proposed in the article are quite useful.

    • great recommendations (for both ‘ i Tunes U’ and BBC webpage) !

      There should be a lesson to introduce all the apps or websites to students so that they can choose what they need and self-learn at home.

    • Winnie, thanks for your great sharing! These apps reveal that language learning can be so flexible. Teachers are no longer the controller of learning process. We learners have chances to decide why to stop or continue our learning progress.^^

    • I read through the article and find the two apps it mentions is quite interesting. And the tips for teachers to integrate those mobile technology into classroom teaching are useful. But I am wondering even though such apps can greatly arouse students interest,whether they can actually improve their English proficiency?

    • This recommended website is really useful for teachers to guide students to better use the mobiles into the English learning!

  5. I used to recommend my friend Peter to use BAICIZHANG for TOEFL test last year, and he told me that this app really benefited him in these ways:1,he could really make full use of break times, i.e. queueing for food. 2, this app could help him to mark out the easily-forgetter words and show up again in different sentences or phrases, which benefits him a lot due to his poor memories. 3, he could prepare for different tests at the same time, i.e. CET-6, TOEFL, IELTS, and Business English, etc., since there are various core vocabularies categories. Therefore, I guess the choices for apps would depend on learners’ own needs and situations. The mobile-phone uses really change people’s learning styles; how to make it right must be related to students own environments.

    • Your friend must have been really motivated to learn English to use his phone for learning even during break time (whilst the rest of the world probably use theirs for games and chatting). Good for him!
      And I agree with you that mobile technology is great for the variety it provides. There are so many apps and websites to choose from that each person could pick what they like to suit their learning style.

    • I do agree that BAICIZHAN is a great app for vocabulary learning. But, I find it annoying sometimes because some words appear again and again for too many times.

    • Your friend’s learning experience shows that mobile phones make resources available to all instantly. The success of learning has shifts from the availability of resources to learners’ autonomy then. If the learners can make use of mobile tools wisely for language learning, they can develop their language skills for sure.

    • I totally agree with your opinion that apps benefit language learning a lot. Students can choose the app which suit them most, which can facilitate the learning process.

    • Yes. I do agree mobile technology have the affordance as realization of individualization. Apart from time and space limitations, APPs also solve the traditional problem—students are from different proficiency levels. Especially in secondary schools or universities, students come from various places with different language proficiency. Some want to make up their shortcomings and some want some improvement. Teachers can not always satisfy their needs but APPs can. They can choose those suitable for their level and can meet their needs.

  6. I think that integrating mobile technology into language learning will be effective. Many young people spend lots of time on mobile phone and state that they can not live without their phone. As a result, using mobile phone in language learning can greatly increase the time and chance in meeting the target language. By constantly checking emails, learners have repeated opportunities to retrieve and give attention to wanted items.
    Nowadays, dozens of APPs are for English learning, like Shanbei vocabulary and Learning ABC, which contain materials for improving English listening abilities, reading abilities and vocabulary.

  7. There are many mobile apps designed for language learning and more and more people tend to spend many time on mobile phone. I should admit that with those Apps, learners can have much opportunities to practice language and easily find a suitable way for themselves in learning foreign language. But I don’t think it is that effective, especially to embed it into foreign language classroom. For many people, mobile phones are mainly used for entertaining and daily communication. Even though people now have much access to various language learning Apps, efficient and effective use of those apps is actually limited. And peoples’ enthusiasm on the use of those language learning Apps tend to fade away gradually. It’s true that digital technologies provide chances for learners to use and learn a language and helps reduce their anxiety when learning, but it also easily distract learners attention and takes too much time. In addition, not every student think App is useful. Like socrative mentioned above, actually I just thought it was too time-consuming. Lots of time is spent on composing and reading other people’s writings. Why don’t we just have group discussions first and answer questions directly. It also worth noting that using those Apps to learn a language can to some degree enhance our reading and writing, especially vocabulary but speaking and listening seem to be ignored. Nevertheless, I agree that the integration of mobile technology applied to the language learning can be useful especially for beginners. But I think using it outside the classroom is much better.

  8. I think it is definitely worth considering using mobile technology in language teaching, but I would encourage students to use it more for self learning outside of the classroom, rather than in class. Part of the beauty of mobile tech is that it allows the students to absorb new knowledge on-the-go, so using it within the classroom would defeat this purpose also.
    The success of language learning through mobile technology depends a lot on the student’s motivation and learning preference. I signed up for these a-word-a-day email before also, but after a few days I simply ignored those emails because I didn’t find the words interesting nor useful. If the student is not motivated, a message popping up on the screen wouldn’t force him/ her to read and learn more.
    If, as teachers, we want to encourage our students to learn using their mobiles, then we could propose an app or website which they could use out of class, and give them an opportunity to apply their new knowledge in real life, giving it context. For example, pick 3 new words from the app this week and use those words in your weekly learning journal.

    • I have the similar experience with you. Once I followed a weibo account which shares free English learning resources with the public. But a few days later I just ignored the information it posted. So yes, learners’ self-motivation and persistence are super important. I think your suggestion is good because teachers can give a push to students to learn more.

  9. There are lots of mobile phone apps designed for language learning which offer many opportunities for them to practice language and easily find a suitable way for themselves in learning foreign language. And most of these apps are very interesting. My favorite one is called ” English interesting dubbing” where learners can dub different pieces of famous films. I think it is very helpful to motivate the students and correct their pronunciation.
    When it comes to classroom language teaching, I don’t think it is quite effective. Firstly, mobile phones can distract students’ attention and disorder the class regulation. Secondly, it may waste time to introduce the function and manipulation. I believe mobile technology can function as a assistant tool for after-class education or self-taught education.

    • I agree with you that it is better to use mobile phones for language learning as after-class activities since students will easily be distracted by other things on mobile phones. At the same time, it might be difficult for teachers to control the whole class.

  10. i agree that learning language through mobile technology is quite effective sometimes because of the large amount of time we are exposed to the cellphone nowadays. And it seems like people nowadays cannot live without it. So integrating language learning apps into cellphone can not only largely increase the learners’ time exposed to the target language, but also make the process of learning language more convenient — you can do it anywhere and anytime just with you cellphone.
    however, we cannot reply all the learning on the cellphone or other mobile devices only. it would be better if learners use these language learning apps on the cellphone as a kind of complementary to their study in the classroom taught by the language teachers. The reason is that the language teachers may provide a comparatively more systematical language knowledge to their students than the cellphone does. And some students might not have self-discipline that they are easily distracted by other entertaining apps, so its not a good idea for them to learn through mobile technology.

    • Strongly agree with your opinion. Language learning is a complex process, which requires effective comprehension, repetition and memorization. Traditional teaching methods give students ideas how to use the language, and current language learning apps give students opportunities to use the language practically. Without teachers’ instructions, the practice may not be that effective. Hence, those apps are kind of complementary to language study. On the other hand, after listening to teacher’s advice, students can better understand what they will gain through mobile language training apps. To sum up, if teachers can apply the language learning apps well, mobile language learning apps ensure students’ learning interests and the amount of spare-time training.

    • I have the same opinion with you that mobile phone is not the only tool for language learning and cannot replace the traditional way of language learning. I think it is a complement for language learning. If teachers use it wisely, students’ outcome of learning will be improved.

  11. Nowadays, there are various of language learning apps for enhancing students’ various skills. For listening skills, apps like BBC, VOA, Podcast etc. are very common for students. For learning vocabulary, we have BAICIZHAN, Shanbay Vocabulary etc. For speaking, apps like Duolingo, Tandem, Qupeiyin etc. are very helpful. These apps integrate the language learning with students’ daily life. Students can continue language learning out of the classroom and have more autonomy in learning. I think teachers can use the app Qupeiyin in the class for students to practice their spoken English. Teachers can ask students to do the dubbing after class, bring the recorded dubbing to the class and let other students comment on the dubbings. In this way, it will inspire students’s sense of competition and they will do it well in order to avoid embarrassment.

    • Wow I don’t realize there are so many existing language learning apps!! However, back to my days, my secondary school did not really encourage us to use mobile apps to learn English for fear that we would get distracted easily. Is it really that common to learn English via mobile apps in Mainland China?

    • Agree with you about this fabulous mobile apps, especially these for learning vocabulary. However, these apps are more often used by learners themselves. Teachers hardly use them in the class to assist their language teaching. I think using mobile apps for language learning is quite pupular out of classes in Mainland of China, but not in the classes.

    • Yeah, I think the reason why mobile apps are not used by teachers is that the English education in China is mainly test-oriented in primary and secondary schools. This kind of teaching is considered to be time-wasting.

    • Hi Winnie! As far as I know, mobile apps are not that commonly used in class, but, students use them frequently out of class time, especially some vocabulary apps.

    • The app NUPEIYIN is really interesting,
      and students call improve learning oral skills by using it. However, this dubbing may make students more anxious, and teachers should creating relaxed classroom atmosphere.

    • It sounds so interesting that there are so many Apps we can use to learn English. Asking students to do the dubbing sound good. Actually, I took part in a dubbing game when I was an undergraduate, and I did learn much during the competition. I feel much more confident on myself when I speak English after that.

    • I also have done this in-class dubbing activities in my undergraduate study. Students composed into groups and chose the movie clips for dubbing by themselves, and finally presented their achievement in the form of competition. It was a very popular activity with students and left me a deep impression.

  12. I think it is a good idea to integrate mobile technology into language learning. Nowadays, mobile phones have become an important part of people’s daily lives, and there are many mobile apps designed for language learning, like “Duolingo” and “Baicizhan”. These apps makes language learning more convenient and interesting. In the past, if students want to memorize English words for different tests, they need to buy several vocabulary books and carry the heavy books with them. But now, many mobile apps provide vocabulary lists cater to different needs of learners, with them, people can recite words anytime and anywhere. Besides, these apps always include pictures and sounds with words, which help learners memorize those words in a more effective way.

    • Yes. Learning English through apps in the mobile phone can occur anytime and anywhere. All materials are in the mobile phone which are easy to carry and review when he/she wants. This is one amazing thing in learning English through apps.

    • Undoubtedly, mobile applications are handy. It is an effortless and effective way to review what you have learnt in your spare time. Carrying those thick and heavy books is really inconvenient. On top of that, memorizing vocabulary with pictures and animations can make memorization a lot easier. Reciting might become more interesting, too.

    • Hi, Yiyi. I have the same feeling with you that learning through Apps can make language learning much more funny. It is especially usefully for vocabulary learning.With colorful pictures and sounds, it is much easier to memorize the word. But I still think to integrate it into the classroom may be difficult and many things are needed to be considered.

  13. 1.When I was preparing for IELTS, I used a website called quizlet to memorize vocabulary. The website can be edited by teachers based on the vocabulary they want to test, and every test it gives out is totally different from the old ones but still test the same words. So, it is very effective for students to get self-assessment on vocabulary. The website is accessible easily on any mobile phone that can link to internet. If teachers want students to have test in class, teachers can let students log on the website, then they can do their unique questions. And the website will score for teachers. Save a lot of time!
    For those students gain strong self-discipline, the language learning apps are useful and effective. It is undeniable that mobile phone is a huge distraction to people, since there are a lot of interesting apps on the phone that can easily let students put less attention on the studying process. Meanwhile, language learning apps highly motivate students’ learning interests. So, should teachers use them, if so, how to use them? How to balance the “playing” part and “leaning” part? Teachers indeed play an important role in this process, but the students, the learners always gain the initiatives. If the students are really confident about their self-control abilities, then go ahead. Mobile learning apps can improve your language abilities while saving your time.

  14. I think the use of mobile device to learn English is more common and even more effective in Japan than that of Hong Kong. This article revealed that most Japanese do not have adequate English practice in school. Many students may only have one English class per week so Japanese students therefore have much less exposure to English reading materials when compared to Hong Kong students. As a result, the use of mobile device provides an extra and alternative method for students to improve their English.
    As a L2 learner, I do think high accessibility of mobile phone nowadays do encourage my English learning. Smartphone helps me to have easier access to news articles. Hence, it provided me more chances to read long texts and further advanced my English comprehension skills.

  15. I don’t think using apps for language learning in the classes is popuplar in Mainland of China, but students themselves may use differents mobile apps as an auxiliary tool for language learning. And there are some account in some social website providing various language learning materials, which really help learners in laguage learning.
    From the perspective of a L2 learner, I think it is effective to integrate mobile technology with language learning classes. It provide extra learning material and it can motivate students’ interest.

  16. Actually, the phenomenon of using mobile phones for language learning is not only limited to Japanese society. Students in every developed or developing countries, including Chinese students, prevalently use mobile phones for learning and entertainment. Language learning Apps ranges from dictionary to language exercises provide students a wide range of language learning opportunities.These apps normally are free of charge which raises their affordances. It is because mobile technology can motivate and provide students with stimulating learning tools for language learning.

    Personally, learning language from mobile phones can benefit ESL learners in an effective way. It make language earning possible whenever or wherever possible.

  17. I think using mobile phone in language learning classroom is a great way to motivate students. There are many learning while playing apps in App store. Teacher could chose the one that need pair work or group work and teach students how to play and then courage them to speak in English while playing. The app like “Baicizhan” that you suggested above is also useful in out class time. I also use “Yingyuqupeiyin” to dub my voice for my favorite movies in order to practice my speaking.
    However, personally speaking, for elder students, learning with mobile phones could benefit a lot. But for the younger students who do not have self-control, it is hard for them to use mobile phone only in learning language. They may easily be distracted by other entertainment apps.

  18. In this day and age, technology has become an indispensable part of our life. Everyone has a smart phone which is not confined to connecting with one another. The development of mobile apps has enabled students to learn anytime and anywhere.

    From my point of view, the integration of mobile technology would be beneficial. Through interactive activities, students would be more motivated and engaged in the learning process. A worth considering point is that students have to be self-disciplined, or else they would be distracted.

  19. I think there are more advantages of integrating mobile phones into the English language learning than disadvantages. “Baicizhan” is a good example of vocabulary app in mobiles. There are different kind of vocabulary that can be learned and it can remind you of reciting the vocabulary every day. It really helped when I was preparing for the English test. There are also other different kinds of apps on mobile phones for learners to learn every time everywhere, from listening, reading, speaking, even writing.
    However, I think learning language on mobile phones really need autonomy. Learners who are not autonomous, he can be prone to play the games on the mobile phones and give up learning. So learners should concentrate themselves on learning when they are using mobiles to improve their language.

    • I agree with you. Learning is a autonomous action, to some extent. There are lots of useful apps or resources for language learning. Some learners use them regularly. Some use them just for a while and give it up. Some even never use them. Therefore, results are different,

  20. It is not deniable that leaning with the help of mobile devices motivate students. And it breaks the time and space limitation, making language learning happen at anytime and anywhere. But I still consider that certain kind of learning is more suitable for those autonomous learners. And teachers can introduce some useful apps for students out of class to cultivate their studies instead of integrating them in class.Furthermore, from my perspective, it is more practical for the elder and advanced learners to integrate mobile technology with language learning. This is because adults have more self-control to be not disattracted by learning with phones.

    • I also agree that mobile technology had better be used after school and functions more effectively among elder learners.

    • I agree with you that maybe it would work better for elder students, but we can cultivate such habits for children in their early age since they are now grow up in the digital age, it might not be a bad thing for them.

  21. From my point of view, I think employing mobile technology to language learning could be useful but utilizing it outside classroom based on learners’ personal preferences would be more recommended. Firstly, in the context of most schools in my hometown, students are not allowed to bring their mobile phones to school. Thus, this kind of integration could not be realized. Secondly, though mobile technology plays its role in facilitating language learning, it would be too time-consuming especially in traditional Chinese classrooms where tasks are always packed in limited class time. Of course, it could be used sometimes within classrooms to spice up traditional classroom language teaching and learning, but frequent adoption of it on a daily basis, as for me, is not strongly encouraged.

  22. Nowadays, most students have “wechat” on their mobile phone and some are even addicted to chatting on “wechat”. One of my students could be an example to this. He kept his eyes on the mobile phone checking whether there is a new message. He could not focus on the whiteboard presentation or computer screen of the class. Then, in the class, I tried delivering language points to him through wechat. Surprisingly, he took notes and acquired the language points quite well in this way. Also, there are pubilc accounts of wechat, operating on language learning. It allows in-time information for language learning. And students can easily access to it.
    I think integrating mobile technology in language learning plays a role that facilitate learning but it is not a must. Some students would be attracted to chat instead of focusing on language learning. It really depends on learners’ autonomy. Moreover, since not every learner has the same learning style, we could assess whether students prefer learning with mobile phone or not and then select the effective learning method for them.

    • That case is funny and some of the public accounts are quite useful, for example official accounts of major news agencies. Teachers can suggest their students to replace checking phones for new messages into new notifications of public accounts.

  23. I think that using mobile phone in class is a really good idea. Many schools in China still cannot foresee the benefits of including mobile usage in class. Students are forbidden to bring their mobiles to school, while we all know that it’s impossible for students to do so. They will not reduce the time on using mobiles, rather, they buy time to play with their mobiles. Then why not taking mobiles as an effective tool for learning?

    Nowadays, there are many useful apps that can be used on language learning, such as Qupeiyin. This is an app for users to imitate other’s spoken language. I think it is a very interesting app for us to practice our speaking.

    • I agree with you. When I was a high school students, my school also have this regulation. Educators in mainland ignore the benefits brought by seat phones to some extent.

    • I agree with your idea that it would be a problem that some students would have access issue of mobile phone in the school. But if the teacher can handle it well and have a clear plan of using mobile phone to facilitate the language learning, I think it would work eventually.

    • I agree. The process should be proceeded in an orderly way so that achieving better result. I love Qupeiyin which is a fabulous app for speaking practice and I also notice that it has been improved a lot during which a lot of new functions are added such as making an appointment with foreign teacher and joining in groups and sharing with others.

  24. Instead using mobile as email tool in the research, I would put it as a Installed-multimodal tool. With mobile phones, daily communication, games playing, music listening and video watching can be easily carried out. For English, some apps, and websites can be accessed to. Learners even could download some files, recordings and videos for repeatedly reading or listening. And there is an obvious benefit for smart phones compared to PC. It is light and convenient to take. Thus, if learners are determined to learning language well, they could make use of the device. Learners’ motivation values.

  25. “The research conducted by Thornton and Houser suggests to us that a mobile phone can be a useful tool in English learning in the early stage of the smartphone.”
    I agree with that, I have reviewed a article before and it asserted that the majority of phone users today were technology natives, and the means that they took using aooliances for granted , and they did not need instructions to use electronic devices. Thus, they can use smart phones for educational purposes with out obstacles.

  26. Mobile learning is indeed an unavoidable trend in education with the development of technology, particularly with the booming of language learning apps. As so many various apps exist, ways to use mobile phone in language learning and teaching also vary, and maybe apps are also the most effective way to integrate mobile phone with teaching activity. However, when conducting this way, some potential problems cannot be ignored, such as phone addiction, distraction in class, eye illness. To ensure the effectiveness of this integration, related solutions to these problems mentioned above must be thought about and carried out.

    • The various apps are helpful for our language learning because many language learning materials are available on these apps. In order to have good effects, the learners need to be autonomous. However for those young learners who are easily distracted, it is better that they are assigned a task to finish and hand in to make sure that they make good use of these apps.

  27. I am very motivated by the idea of using mobile phone in the classroom. I would be willing to do more communication with the technology guy in the APP designed company, convey the needs of using such approach in the classroom. Therefore, at least we can help to embed such idea to improve the language teaching. Someone may suggest that the situation would be out of control in the class, but I think maybe the situation would work out better than we thought since students now are more familiar with the technology and have more interests to learn knowledge based on the more intriguing ways. Also, using mobile phone in the class can attract students attention away from the social networks 🙂

    • Yes! I think your thoughts are very creative.We can have some contacts with those APPs developor and modify some APPs to meed classroom language learning needs.

  28. It is very convenient to check the learning materials with mobile phones. I can easily get access to files delivered by teachers and classmates as long as I can connect to the internet. And when I come across some unknown words or phrases on the learning files, it is quite convenient for me to consult the mobile dictionary for their meaning. For me, I think that the mobile technology applied to language learning can be useful. For example, the BAICIZHAN app mentioned in the text offers an quite interesting way for language learning. It explains words in a humorous and impressive way, which helps learners better memorize and understand new words.

    • Yes, Cindy. The dictionary app on our mobile phone provides a great convenience for our language learning. We need not to carry large and heavy paper dictionary nor buy a specific electronic dictionary. Different kinds of words learning app like baicizhan and hujiang could motivate us in a fun and interesting way but we also need to persist on using any language learning app because I think it is also easy to lost interest because of the repetition work.

  29. Mobile phone has become part of our life nowadays, we could use it for both entertainment and study. Except using different kinds of studying app, we could also use our phone to take pictures on reading materials, recording our voice and videoing our daily communication when we are learning languages. The integration of mobile phone and language learning could be effective since there will be no more time and place constraints, however, it also easy to waste our learning time because of the massive temptations on our phone.

    • I really agree your idea about the other usage of mobile phone in our learning process. For example, during the intense preparation for the exam, I often take some pictures of notes with my phone, which makes it easier for me to strengthen learning in my spare time.

  30. I think we could record our voice by mobile phones and compare and own recordings with the ones recorded by native speakers to improve our pronunciation.
    Due to different student types and their current language proficiency, I think it is hard to give a general conclusion on whether or not the application of mobile tech plays an active role in language learning. For those attentive and difficult to be distracted students, the use of mobile phone is definitely a good thing, for they could take advantage of the affordances of new tech like apps that could not be provided by merely instructions from teachers. However, some students tend to be distracted and are easier to shift their attention from the learning itself to mobile playing. For them, using mobile phones in class or out of class will not facilitate their learning effectively but provide them with more possibilities to focus on other things which may not benefit their language learning.

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