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Going to the MALL: Mobile Assisted Language Learning

Language Learning & Technology Volume 10, Number 1, ISSN 1094-3501


Practically since their availability, a succession of audiovisual recording devices (e.g., reel-to-reel, VCRs, PCs) has been used to capture language samples, and myriad playback and broadcast devices (e.g., phonographs, radios, televisions) have provided access to authentic speech samples. The espousal of audiolingual theory in the 1950s brought the widespread use of the language laboratory in educational settings (Salaberry, 2001). Influenced by behaviorism, the lab was progressively replaced in the 1960s by drill-based computer-assisted instruction, which decades later was itself surpassed by a more intelligent, interactive and multimedia computer-assisted language learning. The popular acceptance of the Internet in the 1990s advanced the development of computer-mediated communications. As technologies continue to evolve, so does their propensity to shrink in size. "Other technologies that hold the capacity for language learning include PDAs, multimedia cellular phones, MP3 players, DVD players, and digital dictionaries" (Zhao, 2005, p. 447). Such portable media--referred to in popular and scholarly literature as mobile, wireless, handheld or nomadic--are now social staples. Mobile learning, or m-learning, is a burgeoning subdivision of the e-learning movement, further evidenced by European initiatives such as m-learning and Mobilearn. This paper discusses MALL (mobile assisted language learning) applications and reviews their benefits and challenges.


Chinnery, G.M. (2006). Going to the MALL: Mobile Assisted Language Learning. Language Learning & Technology, 10(1), 9-16. Retrieved October 15, 2019 from .

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