M-learning for teaching the foreign languages

Eleni MAVROPOULOU, Université Aristote de Thessalonique

This paper focuses on the necessity for innovative, ubiquitous learning that concerns the foreign languages and investigates the current state of technology in learning process. In a society more and more developing technologically, education cannot do otherwise, but to keep up with time. The integration of mobile support in language learning becomes commonplace, while it is increasingly attracting the attention of teachers of foreign languages who are obviously in challenge with m-learning and its advantages and limitations.

The definition of m-learning is initially outlined and consequently a brief history of it follows. In other words, we have taken into consideration the history of technology and the innovative methods in learning, the use of mobile devices as tools for the learning process, the e-learning, the distance learning and finally the m-learning.
The discussion then focuses on the advantages and limitations of mobile learning. It respects the time, the mood and the diversity of each learner. Its technical characteristics, the environments of the applications and the mobile operating systems promote or discourage the learning through mobile devices.

Afterwards, a presentation of the most well-known existing m-learning applications that concerns the language learning will be effectuated. In addition, these applications are designed not always with the same learning needs but different cognitive levels and skills have to be acquired by the learner.

In future work we intend to answer the theoretical question what are the basic conditions and characteristics that a mobile application needs for the learning process of a foreign language in the context of learning through mobile devices (m-learning) in order to facilitate learning.

Notre intervention met l’accent sur la nécessité d’un apprentissage en mobiquité novateur des langues étrangères et présente l’état actuel de la technologie au service du processus d’apprentissage des langues. Dans une société de plus en plus développée technologiquement, l’intégration du support mobile dans le processus d’apprentissage des langues attire l’attention des enseignants de langues étrangères qui doivent être informés à propos de l’apprentissage mobile (m-learning), de ses avantages et ses limites.

Tout d’abord, nous proposons une définition de l’apprentissage mobile et un bref historique de son évolution : nous considérons l’histoire de la technologie et des méthodes novatrices concernant l’apprentissage, l’utilisation des appareils mobiles comme outils pour le processus d’apprentissage, la formation en ligne (e-learning), l’apprentissage à distance et enfin l’apprentissage mobile (m-learning).

La discussion porte ensuite sur les avantages et les limites de l’apprentissage mobile : il doit respecter le temps, l’humeur et la diversité de chaque apprenant ; les caractéristiques techniques de l’appareil, les environnements des applications et les systèmes d’exploitation des mobiles peuvent favoriser ou décourager l’apprentissage.
Par la suite, nous présentons des applications connues de l’apprentissage mobile qui visent l’apprentissage des langues.

Mots-clés : Applications mobiles, Apprentissage des langues, Apprentissage mobile