Mobile-assisted language learning in EFL classroom at university: students' perspective
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Since the first appearance of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in English as Foreign Language (EFL) classrooms, the perspective of teachers and students on the utilization of technology for language learning has been largely discussed in the academic field, from its onset as Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) to its latest evolution towards Mobile-Assisted Language Learning (MALL). MALL has been considered by many researchers as a potential as well as an effective tool for language learning that provides numerous advantages. The aim of this paper is to investigate university students’ perspectives on using mobile applications along with social media for EFL learning purposes, as the understanding of learners’ perceptions and their experiences may assist teachers to promote the educational uses of MALL in English courses (Tri & Nguyen, 2014). After providing a brief history of CALL and its transition into MALL, previous studies on MALL’s use in EFL classrooms and students’ views regarding it are revised. Then, a small-scale research carried out by the author is presented. The study consisted of a questionnaire filled in by first-grade students of the University of the Basque Country in order to identify which mobile applications or activities are the most used for learning English, as well as to investigate their perspective about whether its utilization may be beneficial in a regular EFL course. The findings indicate that although learners tend to use social media more than mobile applications for EFL learning, the majority of them considered that both of them may be beneficial in English classes, which is believed to point at pedagogical implications to be taken into account by English language teachers at university.