If you are like most students attending language schools in Washington DC, then you are glued to your cell phone (or mobile device). So why not make the most of your mobile device by finding ways for it to help you learn a new language?
Today’s students are familiar with mobile devices, which means there is not a steep learning curve when it comes to using this technology for language learning. As Hayo Reinders explains, “learners are used to working with them, often more so than with computers.” Not only are they familiar with mobile devices, but many students “prefer to use mobile phones for many activities, from emailing to reading books.”
Therefore, it makes sense to use mobile devices to learn a new language. However, while there is an abundance of language learning apps, there are far more ways to use a mobile device for mobile learning.
Mobile learning means students can learn a new language anywhere at any time. Today, let’s explore the various ways students who take English courses in Washington DC can benefit for mobile learning.
Numerous Studies Suggest Mobile Devices are a Great Language Learning Tool
Study after study has found a positive correlation between mobile devices and language learning. For instance, in Using Mobile Phones in Learning English: The Case of Jordan, researchers found that English language learning students report high usage for using mobile phones to learn English. Additionally, students reported having positive attitudes toward learning this way.
In Using Mobile Apps To Facilitate English Learning For College Students In China, researchers found the mobile “learning approach is effective and helpful for college students to improve English by using their mobile devices, as well as undergraduates are willing to use apps to learn English with self-regulated learning approach instead of traditional learning approach.”
Several other studies report similar findings. Ultimately, various studies suggest that students enjoy using their mobile devices, which makes it a great tool for supplemental language learning. For instance, while the best way to learn a language is to take courses, such as by attending one of the language schools in DC, students can also benefit from using their mobile devices to reinforce skills.
The Various Ways a Mobile Device Can Be Used in Language Learning
As many of the unique features of mobile devices for language learning is overlooked, we are providing students with a broad overview of the various ways a mobile device can be used to supplement what you are learning in your English class in DC.
Multiple Language Learning Apps Available
There are countless language learning apps available for mobile devices. These apps range from game-based learning apps to language courses. Apps such as Duolingo and Memrise. You can see our favorite language learning apps in 12 Games and Apps to Supplement Language Learning.
Mobile devices feature mobile messaging tools like text messaging. Mobile messaging is an excellent way to develop your English reading and writing skills as mobile messaging requires the user to communicate via the written word. Additionally, mobile messaging is a great way for students to learn how to use informal English.
A major perk for language learning is social networking via sites and apps such as Facebook and Instagram. Language learners can connect with other language learners and native speakers globally. Plus, these social networks have other communication tools such as direct messaging and closed groups.
Speaking Via Phone or Video
As mobile devices have become more common for searching the web, we tend to forget they are phones designed for users to speak to one another. As a language learner, speaking in the language is critical. You can practice speaking to others via the phone or by using video chat tools such as Skype or Apple’s Facetime.
Today’s mobile devices also allow users to download reading materials directly to their devices. Whether you opt to read a book or a newspaper in English, you can use your phone to practice reading in English. Another tip for using your phone to practice reading – change your phone’s language settings.
Mobile devices come equipped with translation tools, such as Google translate and dictionary apps. While you do not want to rely on these tools for language learning, they are helpful when you are in need. For example, students who travel abroad to study English in Washington DC will find this mobile device tool helpful at the beginning of their studies.
Most mobile devices include a voice recorder feature. If the device does not have this feature, you can download a voice recorder app. This tool is helpful for language learners as they can record conversations and listen back to learn pronunciation.
Creative types are using their mobile devices to create content. For example, you can use your device to create videos, record music, or design graphics. All of these creative tasks can also be used to help you learn new vocabulary.
Use Photos for Visual Learning
Visual learners can make use of their phone’s camera. By taking photos of objects and words, students are creating a visual language dictionary. For example, photos of street signs or restaurant menus will help give language learners something to refer to as they study.
Mobile devices also include note-taking tools. Whenever you come across an unfamiliar word, you can take a note. Then, share the note with your language trainer and classmates at your next class. This is a great way to keep a running dictionary of new words.
Blogging and Microblogging
Students learning languages abroad can also blog directly from their mobile devices. In addition to full blogs via apps such as Blogger, language learners may enjoy trying to communicate via micro-blogging through Twitter. They can update those back home, as well connect with others.
One of the most popular ways to use a mobile device is to use it to view videos. There are countless videos you can watch for free on sites such as YouTube, as well as streaming sites like Netflix. Watching videos is a fun way to practice your English listening skills.
Are you already using your mobile device to learn a language? Boost your learning by taking an English class!