Vinsamlegast notið þetta auðkenni þegar þið vitnið til verksins eða tengið í það: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/36956
Today the mobile phone has become an essential part of our lives. As the devices have gone through technological iterations researchers of mobile-assisted language learning have been studying the benefits of mobile phones in education. The purpose of this study was to evaluate language learning apps and their emphasis in the four language skills as well as vocabulary and grammar. Aesthetic design, navigation and gamification elements were also evaluated. The study began with a search for appropriate apps on the App Store using the following criteria: they were aimed at adults, they had English as a base language and were therefore accessible for Icelandic students, and they were aimed at a particular language skill or a variety of language skills. The apps were then evaluated according to a criteria based on Rosell-Aguilar’s (2017) framework for evaluating language learning apps. Among the findings is that the apps most often emphasize vocabulary, speaking and grammar. Listening and reading usually present as the by-products of speaking activities. Writing is also rarely the main focus of the apps selected for review. Speaking activities rely on imitative speaking which focuses on accuracy over fluency. In app dedicated to vocabulary words only appear in the context of another word but not in the context a sentence. The selection of apps that focus on grammar offer either a deductive approach or an inductive approach through drilling. Navigation of the apps is usually without issue but two apps under review did have issues that hindered usability considerably. Similarly, design was generally appropriate to the content while one app suffered from poor design and three apps stand out as exemplary when it comes to aesthetic design. Gamification elements were present in the majority of the apps but were usually poorly implemented except for three apps which used effective ways to implement this aspect. The availability of English language learning apps in the App Store is quite extensive and the quality of apps varies as can be seen in this study with scant pedagogical foundation. This study also shows that apps developers are experimenting with different and interesting ways to utilize technology for language learning and sometimes succeeding in that task but there much to left to discover as the availability of language learning apps is only increasing.
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