Dive deeper

Over the last few years, much work has been done looking at how mobile devices might be incorporated into the teaching and learning of English.

If you're looking for an excellent, practical primer on the subject, then start with Going Mobile: Teaching with Hand-Held Devices by Nicky Hockley and Gavin Dudeney (Delta Publishing, 2014). For en even deeper dive, check out Mobile Learning: Languages, Literacies and Cultures by Mark Pegrum (Palgrave MacMillan, 2014). And if all of that has convinced you to adopt a mobile-first mindset, then why not redesign your whole school around the use of mobile devices? That's just what Paul Driver did, and you can read about it on the LearnJam blog: Designing learning spaces for a mobile era.

As more mobile-first and mobile-native ELT products and services begin to emerge, now would be a good time to start familiarising yourself with how some of these products work and what their advantages and limitations are. Probably the best-known and most-used is Duolingo but other popular products include Memrise and Speaking Pal. Oh, and let's not forget Anki, a free tool for creating 'intelligent' (read: spaced repetition) flashcards that you can use on your phone.

In one of this episode's videos, Nick mentioned 'chatbots' and the idea of 'chat as app'. Well it won't surprise you to hear that we're starting to see the emergence of chat-based technology in ELT. Philip Kerr has written an excellent – and at times acerbic – analysis of where we are with this technology in ELT right now (spoiler: he's not impressed). And on the LearnJam blog, you can read a report of our own attempts to build an ELT 'bot' (note the deliberate use of quotation marks).

Finally, if you're interested in the idea of 'mobility' as a pedagogical concept in education (one that isn't necessarily tied to the use of mobile devices), then check out the Language Learning in the Wild project that Scott mentioned, which is creating an 'experiential second language pedagogy' that involves 'methods to bring a second language user out into the ‘wild’ where the target language is spoken'. Utterly fascinating.

If you have any other sources to recommend, feel free to add them in the comments below.

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