9 Myths about Mobile Learning in Modern Languages

Many modern language  teachers have heard of mobile learning and yet they are hesitant to try it.  Here are some common myths.

1) I need tons of mobile learning professional development.  Traditionally, professional development focused on learning the technology.  If you have a smartphone or tablet and can do the basic functions, you have enough of your own professional development to start using mobile learning in your class. If you do not have a mobile device, take 2-3 minutes of class to ask your students what app they would use to do a certain task such as audio recording or creating a video.  Students are the expert in the use of the mobile devices; we just have to harness those uses for modern languages.

2)  I do not have a curriculum for mobile learning.  Mobile learning is only a tool to help you in the modern language classroom so the only curriculum you need is your modern language one.  Once you know what language learning task you want, you  can have the students help you find an appropriate app for it.

3) Every student does not have a mobile device so I cannot do mobile learning in my modern language class.  Have students work in pairs or in groups of three so that at least one person has a mobile device.

4) I do not have the money to purchase apps for  my students.  Many common apps such as video recording apps are free.  Only use the free version of the apps. You can do a year’s worth of activities without having to purchase any  paid apps.

5) I do not have a 1,000 apps like another modern  teacher has.  Mobile learning is not about collecting a multitude of apps; it is about helping your students to improving in their language skills. You can do a whole year’s worth of mobile learning with a few common tools natively found on the mobile device such as picture taking, audio recording,  and video recording. Instead of having your student learn many different apps, find a few apps like video recording app that can be used for many different things such as interviews, telling a story,  making a movie about an event, etc.

6) I do not have the time to find  drill and practice apps. Save your time and focus on developing  your students’ speaking communication through the common mobile tool apps. They can take a picture of a friend or family member and describe that person to their partner.

7)  I already have too much to do  so I cannot do mobile learning.  Mobile learning replaces many classroom activities.  Instead of students looking at one  textbook picture of a city in your target language, they can do a quick  google image search on their mobile device  for the city and see many diverse images of the city. The students probably can find a google image quicker on a mobile device than they can open the textbook to the right page. Mobile learning with QR (quick response) codes can take students instantly  to a video, sound file, web page, or picture.

8)  I have no way to collect what they do on their mobile device  If the students have taken a picture, done an audio recording, done a video recording, etc, they can email it to you.  Students do the task,  click on a share icon and email it to you as an attachment. Students can show you their picture or even project it for the whole class using a document camera.

9) I do not know where to start so I won’t start.  Start simple with students talking about family or friend pictures on their mobile devices. You can do many diverse speaking activities based on pictures on their devices or pictures you ask them to take such as of their living room.

When will you start to use mobile learning for more language communication in your class?

90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities by Harry Grover Tuttle
90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities by Harry Grover Tuttle

My ebook, 90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities, is available at http://bit.ly/90mlact.You can instantly use these many communication activities in your classroom with even beginning students when only half the class has mobile devices. It can be downloaded as a pdf.

I have developed 5 Visual activities/games  for any modern language (no words) and have developed 27 Spanish activities for students to begin to express themselves in the modern language and to move toward spontaneous speaking Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

My three formative assessment books, Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students and Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, are available at  http://bit.ly/tuttlebks

Dr. Tuttle’s Personal Links

90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities ebook  http://bit.ly/90mlact  Instantly use these communication and cultural activities  even  if half the class has mobile device.  Also, available as a pdf.

Modern Language and Spanish Spontaneous Speaking Activities  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle
Have story telling board activities (no words just visuals) for modern languages plus 25+ activities for speaking in Spanish (mostly speaking in pairs) so the whole class talks at once.  Activities vary from high structure such as word substitution while speaking to role playing.  I have these Can-Do activities:Spanish Speaking Food Cooperative Learning Can-Do Whole Class; Spanish Speaking: City Mat Can-Do Novice Mid and High; and Spanish Friend /Family Member Detailed Description – Partner Talk

Modern Language  Blog  http://bit.ly/imprml  mostly for speaking and mobile modern language activities

My Formative Assessment books (Improving Students Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative AssessmentSuccessful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, and  Formative Assessment: Responding to Students) : http://bit.ly/tuttlebks

Education and Technology Blog  http://bit.ly/hgtblog

Twitter http://twitter.com/HarryGTuttle

90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities ebook

90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities by Harry Grover Tuttle

90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities by Harry Grover Tuttle

Improve your students’ modern language communication and culture awareness through mobile learning tools and apps. Engage your students in these easy to integrate in-class and out-of-class learning in fourteen different mobile categories.  Have them participate in authentic culture.

http://bit.ly/90mlact

 

 

 

 

 

My structured Spanish spontaneous speaking activities (24+) includes Structured Speaking (Students substitute in or select words to communicate in pairs), Speaking Mats ( Student can talk using a wide variety of nouns, verbs and adjectives to express their ideas in pairs or small group), Modified Speed Dating (Students ask their  partners one question from a card-whole class), Role Playing (Students talk as people in pictures or drawings from 2-4 people), Spontaneous Speaking (based on visuals or topics in pairs), and Grammar speaking games (pairs or small group). Available for a nominal fee at Teacherspayteachers: http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle.

At the same site, I have a series of activities for any modern language  such as visual stories with no words (the beach, the city, school, etc.) for two students to role play; the restaurant role play involves four students.

My book, Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, and my book, Formative Assessment, Responding to Students, are available at http://is.gd/tbook

Your Feedback on 90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities ebook

Dear colleagues,

I am writing an  ebook, 90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities, with the anticipated publication date of May 2013 and I would appreciate your feedback.   I have the following categories and  numerous classroom examples of each category in the book:

Introduction (Why? What is it? How to implement? Why focus on communication?)
Speaking Activities
Mobile images
Internet searching
Internet image searching
Timer
Survey /Polls
QR code
Voice and video recording
Phone
Video chat
Apps for media
Texting
Twitter
Facebook
Writing to a blog Wiki or website
Listening activities
Reading activities
Listening activities
Culture (is integrated into the activities)
Assessment activities

Are there any other categories of mobile learning activities that you feel need to be included in a book on mobile learning? If so, would you please add a comment  to this blog that includes that particular mobile learning category with a phrase of definition or explanation of the term.  Thank you very much.  With your help, this book will better help modern language teachers as they begin mobile learning to improve their students modern language communication skills.

Also, if you would please answer a question about what you would be willing to pay for such an ebook https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1v1jFzrtGHApRxGaf6kcwYY9DKYYm-nrzDm0mXr7R_sI/viewform#start=invite

Please forward to any other modern language  teacher who uses mobile learning for his/her reaction.

My Spanish spontaneous speaking activities (24+) includes Structured Speaking (Students substitute in or select words to communicate in pairs), Speaking Mats ( Student can talk using a wide variety of nouns, verbs and adjectives to express their ideas in pairs or small group), Modified Speed Dating (Students ask their  partners one question from a card-whole class), Role Playing (Students talk as people in pictures or drawings from 2-4 people), Spontaneous Speaking (based on visuals or topics in pairs), and Grammar speaking games (pairs or small group). Available for a nominal fee at Teacherspayteachers: http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle.

At the same site, I have a series of modern language visual stories with no words (the beach, the city, school, etc.) for two students to role play; the restaurant role play involves four students.  These can be used in any language since there are just visuals, no words.

My book, Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, and my book, Formative Assessment, Responding to Students, are available at http://is.gd/tbook

Different types of Modern Language Apps and Questions

At my sister  technology blog, I posted a blog about the various types of modern language apps.  My greatest fear about mobile learning  is that we will turn mobile learning devices into drill and kill machines instead of using them to engage the student in communicating and  reacting to culturally authentic material.
If you do use mobile learning, which different apps do you use? How does each help your students to communicate better?  Do your students spend more time communicating in the target language when using mobile learning  or in creating something that has very little actual communication? Do your apps involve your students in the current culture of the language area?

My Spanish spontaneous speaking activities (29+) includes Structured Speaking (Students substitute in or select words to communicate in pairs), Speaking Mats ( Student can talk using a wide variety of nouns, verbs and adjectives to express their ideas in pairs or small group), Modified Speed Dating (Students ask their  partners one question from a card-whole class), Role Playing (Students talk as people in pictures or drawings from 2-4 people), Spontaneous Speaking (based on visuals or topics in pairs), and Grammar speaking games (pairs or small group). Available for a nominal fee at Teacherspayteachers: http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle.

At the same site, I have a series of modern language visual stories with no words (the beach, the city, school, etc.) for two students to role play; the restaurant role play involves four students.  These can use in any language since there are just visuals, no words.

My book, Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, and my book, Formative Assessment, Responding to Students, are available at http://is.gd/tbook

Replacing the Modern Language Textbook with QR Codes: The Advantages

In another blog, I argued how textbooks can be replaced with QR codes.  I think that modern language classroom is an ideal place to replace the textbook with QR codes.

The advantages to QR code -based modern language learning:
- With QR codes, teachers can link  to a comprehensive list of vocabulary for a given topic. The teachers can indicate critical vocabulary and useful vocabulary.  Some  textbooks introduce certain fruits in one unit and, then, more fruit in another unit.  Many textbooks have only a partial list of vocabulary for a topic even when it is the only unit for that topical vocabulary.  Many textbooks do not include verbs, adjectives, and typical sentences when they present the  noun vocabulary list  for a topic. The teachers may link to various language apps that not only illustrate the word but show it in English and the target language.
- With QR codes, foreign language  teachers can link to videos that  introduce and review grammar  in diverse ways.  The educators can have QR codes that link to different types of online grammar practice.  The educators are not limited by the textbook’s manner of presenting or reviewing grammar.
- With QR codes, modern language  teachers can link to audio or video files of native speakers who are talking about important topics.  Either the teachers or the students can record the native speakers as they talk about such things as family, eating, weekends. These conversations are authentic conversations, not ones designed to teach a particular grammar point.  Likewise the teachers can link to radio or TV shows from the target area.
- With QR codes, foreign language teachers can link to current or past cultural events in the target language country.  Students can learn about the culture as it happens as opposed to waiting for the textbook to possibly cover it in a future unit. The teachers can use QR codes to show what is happening at this very moment in the target language country.
- With QR codes, the modern language teachers can link to  pictures or videos that serve as speaking prompts or the basis for a conversation.  These same pictures or videos can serve as writing prompts.  The teachers select  target language cultural pictures.  For example, students look at a family having a  Sunday picnic in Tijuana, México.
- With QR codes, the foreign language teachers can link to quick formative assessments that students take in just a few minutes to demonstrate their achievement of some learning goal.
- With QR codes, modern language teachers can link to target language reading such as  the news,  magazine articles, and  literature.  They can have the students read authentic materials.  Students can select which aspect of the news they want to read about  such as  sports, TV, politics, and food.

Why not try a mini-QR code lesson  to see how engaged in the target language the students become?

My Spanish spontaneous speaking activities (25+) includes Modified Speed Dating (Students ask their  partners a question from a card-whole class), Structured Speaking (Students substitute in or select words to communicate in pairs), Role Playing (Students talk as people in pictures or drawings from 2-4 people), Speaking Mats (Can talk using a wide variety of nouns, verbs and adjectives to express their ideas- pairs or small group), Spontaneous Speaking (based on visuals or topics in pairs), and Grammar speaking games (pairs or small group). Available for a nominal fee at Teacherspayteachers: http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle. I have a series of modern language visual stories (the beach, the city, school, etc.) for two students to role play; the restaurant role play involves four students.  These can use in any language since there are just visuals, no words.

My book, Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, and my book, Formative Assessment, Responding to Students, are available at http://is.gd/tbook