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Optimizing the Process of Teaching English for Medical Purposes with the Use of Mobile Applications

A Memrise-based Case Study


Maria Chojnacka

The ubiquity of mobile devices has opened the way to extending learning environments far beyond the constraints of the traditional foreign language classroom. This book seeks to advance the knowledge about effective learning and teaching of English for Medical Purposes supported by mobile environments. The author investigates the effectiveness of the use of a mobile version of a flashcard spaced-repetition learning platform. In conclusion, she presents core principles of an educational solution that supports the ongoing and situated learning of English for Medical Purposes by designing a mobile spaced-repetition medical vocabulary tutor («Mobile Medical English Companion»).

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Chapter Four: Key Tenets of Mobile Assisted Language Learning


4.1 Introduction

This chapter offers an overview of the current state of mobile learning research and practice, with specific reference to Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL). It also delineates various dimensions of mobile learning and mobile applications as mediating tools in the learning process, with special focus on flashcard vocabulary tutors.

Technological advancement is taking place at an unprecedented rate (Attewell 2005, Herrington 2009, Mac Callum 2009) leading to improved access to mobile devices (Lefoe et al. 2009: 17). We can observe a rapid growth in smartphone use throughout the developing world, and numerous mobile learning projects across Europe (Walker 2006: 3). Mobile phones ranked first among devices used in mobile learning projects funded by the European Union (Pęcherzewska − Knot 2007, in Kukulska-Hulme − Shield 2008: 271–274). And they have been gradually gaining popularity and recognition in both small and large educational contexts, e.g. BBC Bitesize Mobile, MOBILearn European Project (Sharples 2006: 2).

The world we live in requires developing lifelong learning skills, which judging by the pace of life and the omnipresence of handheld devices, in turn requires designing learning in such a way so as to answer the needs and wants of learners, especially in a situation where technology allows producing a variety of digital content “on the spot” (Milrad 2006).

For many learners engagement and interaction through technology are an essential aspect of their lives (Lefoe et al. 2009: 25) and yet mobile technologies are not...

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