Teaching Communicatively in a Classroom with Mobile-sourced Materials

Rupert Walsh


Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) is now common in extra-curricular language learning, but, more recently, teachers have increasingly sought ways to utilise MALL as a communicative classroom tool. Research into the extent that MALL can transform a whole communicative language course, and learners’ impressions of such courses, is scarce. This study, therefore, sought the opinions of five undergraduate learners on a short communicative English language course based on communicative principles, with materials entirely sourced from learner’s own devices. Learner reflections elicited in interviews suggested that MALL had aided the facilitation of an environment that was interactive, motivating, differentiated, authentic and autonomous, at times potentially more so than on a course using traditional material sources. The novel aspect of allowing freedom in choosing materials caused some complications, though none were considered insurmountable with minor adjustments to the course plan. In summary, student reactions implied that a communicative course could be taught exclusively through mobile-sourced materials, but further research is required to identify exactly how this would best be achieved. Nevertheless, findings here give reasons for practitioners to explore methods of classroom teaching inclusive of MALL that encourage self-directed learning, the creation of a platform for interaction, personalization, differentiation, a shared experience for learners and elements of game-play.


Mobile, Communicative, Language, Teaching, Classroom Learning

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.alls.v.12n.5.p.23


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