Technological diversity: A case study into language learners’ mobile technology use inside and outside the classroom

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The speed of technological advance in the mobile phone, netbook and tablet markets has meant that learners increasingly have access to digital devices capable of enhancing their learning experience. This case study reports on how language learners, taking Italian as an option on the Institution Wide Languages Programme (IWLP) at Coventry University, use their digital devices to support their language learning. Foreign language educators in higher education need to be aware of the degree to which learners utilise their digital devices and what they use them for. This knowledge will allow tutors to be able to offer help and support. Learners were observed using their devices in the classroom and were asked to complete a detailed questionnaire. More detailed data was then collected from a focus group of students reflecting on the numerous ways in which they used their phones to support their language learning. The case study found that the use of digital devices to support language learning was widespread and often took place outside the classroom. It also revealed that tutors were unable to recommend appropriate apps and that learners tended to use their devices autonomously and unintegrated with their modules. Learners expressed a desire for the integration of mobile language learning resources with their existing course books and on-line learning materials.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication10 years of the LLAS elearning symposium: case studies in good practice
EditorsKate Borthwick, Erika Corradini, Alison Dickens
Place of PublicationDublin Ireland
ISBN (Print)9781908416223
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

This article is published under the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International ( licence. Under this licence, the contents are freely available online (as PDF files) for anybody to read, download, copy, and redistribute provided that the AUTHOR(s), EDITORIAL TEAM and PUBLISHER are properly cited. Commercial use and derivative works are, however, not permitted.


  • MALL
  • Italian
  • digital devices
  • language learning
  • smartphones
  • apps.


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