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Athabasca University

The International Handbook of Mobile-Assisted Language Learning

August 23, 2016

CDE faculty (Dr. Agnieszka Palalas and Dr. Mohamed Ally) just published "The International Handbook of Mobile-Assisted Language Learning". The book is open access for free download. For more information on the handbook or to download, click here.

The International Handbook of Mobile-Assisted Language Learning is a practical resource book on mobile-assisted language learning (MALL) as well as many notions of mobile learning in general. This handbook is about a new understanding of teaching and learning - a perspective enriched by voices of educators from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds. It introduces mobile-assisted language learning, or more precisely mobile language learning (MLL), as a new phase of second and foreign language learning, a successor of computer-assisted language learning (CALL) and a subset of the larger field of mobile learning. MLL leverages new, previously unexperienced, mobile digital technologies and language-rich contexts to offer an innovative approach to untethered language learning that meets the needs and preferences of the 21st century learner. The book is intended for second and foreign language teachers, academics, researchers, instructional designers, and other professionals in education and the workplace. It will also benefit school administrators, technology staff, directors of Teaching and Learning Centers, and other stakeholders interested in integrating mobile technologies to promote the development of second and foreign language skills amongst their students and employees.

MALL has to be founded on the body of systematic theory, research, and practice that provides evidence and reflects a multitude of potential educational circumstances.  This volume is a forum for mobile language learning practitioners from around the globe to report on how they implemented MLL, what strategies and designs worked and what approaches did not provide desirable outcomes, and what that subsequently means to learners, teachers, and to creators of mobile language learning. There have been many small-scale and even bigger MALL projects that have not been appreciated for the knowledge they can contribute to the field and the community of practice. Many of them are described in this handbook. Case studies presented hereby have been carefully selected to accurately represent the current MALL practices and demonstrate a variety of problems and solutions through the practitioner’s lens. Only by sharing their expert perceptions, practices, findings and conclusions, can the authors truly contribute to the progress of mobile language learning and inform future MLL decisions. This international perspective is needed to promote a widespread adoption of MLL and the corresponding pedagogical shifts that it brings about (Chapter 2). The contributing authors further enrich the message of this book by reporting on the realities, possibilities and limitations specific to their individual educational contexts, which represent a wide range of developmental stages of MLL - from SMS-based learning solutions used to improve literacy in low resource environments in Liberia (Chapter 17) to the use of gamification principles in the design of an English-as-a-second-language vocabulary app for smartphone users in Canada (Chapter 13).  Overall, this handbook compiles theory essentials and practical examples of MLL. It distills them into recommendations on how to integrate mobile pedagogy and technology to teach and support learning of second and foreign languages in educational institutions, in the workplace and in informal learning. It weaves together m-learning explorations and experiences from diverse cultural and educational contexts to provide a broad understanding of the many facets and possibilities of MALL. Thirty-five authors representing thirteen countries contributed twenty-two chapters that refer to the study of foreign and second language at various levels of language proficiency, starting with basic literacy skills, all the way through academic English training programs to providing training in MALL to student teachers of languages. Each chapter enriches the reader’s understanding of the diverse language learning needs and contexts. The role of mobile technology in MALL is fundamental and it certainly brings about a redefinition of language learning as it enables innovative learning approaches and strategies in new physical and virtual contexts. We hope that this handbook, which shares a message of critical importance to the theory and application of m-learning, will assist its readers in implementing mobile learning in their practice.

Updated July 31 2017 by CDE

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