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Thursday, August 13 • 2:10pm - 2:35pm
A Cellphone Reading App for Language Learners

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While the number of mobile apps for EFL is growing, most have been designed for explicit vocabulary learning; flash cards and word games get learners to encounter the target vocabulary repeatedly. These apps provide essential training, but they do not supplant the learners’ need to encounter the target vocabulary in context, namely through reading. Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of an extensive approach to reading on improving comprehension and reading speed (Bell, 2001, Coady, 1997), and our project attempts to institute this within a mobile framework. The project is based on two email projects, one begun in 2005 and the other in 2009, that provide short daily or weekly reading materials accessible via both mobile devices and computers.

By December 2014, the two projects had sent more than 2,700 learning materials, of which most were short English essays and stories. As the materials were sent as emails, they may have been overlooked by the recipients. In order to help these students read more conveniently on their cell phones, we have selected some of these essays and put them into an iPhone/iPad application called Mobile English.

This presentation will demonstrate the free iPhone/iPad application and discuss its differences with other mobile language learning applications. We will examine the use of the mobile app by university students and seek answers to the following questions: Which functions do learners actually mostly use when they read English via cell phones? Which reading topics are the most popular? Do mobile apps encourage learners to become more autonomous learners? We will be using a combination of access data, surveys and learner interviews to answer these questions.


Jun Iwata

Shimane University

Douglas Jarrell

Nagoya Women's University

Thursday August 13, 2015 2:10pm - 2:35pm EDT
CGIS Knafel K354 1737 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA