Mobile learning is currently very big news in the eLearning industry. Online course providers and the people behind blended learning educational programmes are all working towards making the most of what hand held devices, such as smartphones and tablets, have to offer.
This is particularly key in the language learning sector, where languages applications have begun to dominate the marketplace. More students than ever before are showing an interest in learning languages in this way, with some languages applications boasting hundreds of millions of downloads.
The question here is whether mobile learning lives up to the hype. Can you really learn a language solely from these languages applications? And if that is the case, what does that mean for the future of language learning and for traditional language courses?
How does mobile learning work?
Languages applications are a wonderfully accessible form of mobile learning technology. There are a very wide range of apps available to download at the touch of a finger, all directly from the device’s app store. It’s important to be aware that these applications vary hugely in terms of price, scope and, most importantly, quality.
Despite these variations, most language apps set out with the same aim: to offer language learning in the most convenient and effective way possible.
Students can log into these languages applications on there own terms. Whenever they enter the app they will be able to pick up with their language training right where they let off with interactive learning activities. Most of these apps will track progress, offer feedback and will, to some extent, personalise the language learning experience based on the strengths and weaknesses of the user.
What are the benefits of language training with an app?
There are huge benefits to using languages applications for language training purposes. Here are some of the main ones:
#1. Students can access language courses and course materials from wherever they are
No longer do students need to be in a specific place at a specific time in order to access language courses. They can use a language learning app from wherever they are, at home or on holiday, either to access fully online language training or to use as a complement to blended learning language courses.
#2. Languages applications are intuitive, fun and engaging to use
Language training apps are designed for the modern educational landscape. They are fun and easy to use, making it likely that students will want to make them a part of their daily tech experience.
#3. Mobile learning is easy to fit into even the busiest schedule
There are arguments to say that we are squeezing more into our lives than ever before. These busy schedules often mean that we don’t have time to access more traditional classroom based language courses. Using a language app for even five or ten minutes a day is a good way to counteract this.
#4. Students don’t need to have an internet connection in order to access language training resources
Many language apps, including Dexway apps don’t need an internet connection in order to work. This is great as it means students really can access language courses and resources wherever they are without necessarily needing to connect to the internet.
How can mobile learning be used most effectively as a learning tool?
At Dexway, we believe that applications are a great mechanism for making language learning easy and accessible. They can work well for individuals who want to solely rely on mobile learning, but we think they work even more effectively as part of a blended learning or flipped classroom programme.
There is a great deal of evidence to show that learning a language is easier when there is a social element involved. Language laboratories, conversational groups and other effective learning practices should all be offered along with mobile learning provision as part of an effective blended learning programme.
In other words, mobile learning is hugely effective and it is of course possible to learn a language just with the help of an app… but most students will find this task easier with a tutor and a group of classmates on side too.
What benefits can the Dexway languages applications offer?
Dexway has developed their own free applications for mobile language training that are available on all kinds of mobile devices. These apps work on the go without an internet connection, but when they are connected to the internet they automatically sync with other enabled devices to ensure students don’t lose course progress or all important test scores.
With the Dexway app, teachers are able to easily and intuitively use the flipped classroom model. This means that students can learn content via the app before class, then discuss that content in the classroom as a group. The great thing about our app is that all progress and assessment data is accessible by the teacher, meaning that they can keep a very close eye on how each individual student is doing.
If your organisation are looking for an educational platform to support your blended learning language training, Dexway could be offering just what you need.
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