Start your learners on independent mobile learning

Task using mobile apps for language learning

And finally here's the last of the tasks I suggested in my recent session at the IH Barcelona ELT Conference.

If we're not recommending our learners ways in which they could be using their smartphones to do some independent mobile learning, I'd suggest that we're short changing them: there's just so much out there that would improve their English and set on the right track to becoming autonomous, independent learners, no longer requiring our assistance.

In education, 21st century technology really ought to involve a lot of that, and a lot less of learners suffering death by their teacher's PowerPoint.

Among many such apps, I particularly like Memrise, which as well as being fun and addictive seems to have been built to tap into some of theory on how we learn, as well as being free. It's neat that it keeps reminding you to get your daily dose of recycled vocab and as a learner you do have those odd moments of the day (on the bus, queuing in the supermarket…) when you're probably not going to pull out a vocabulary notebook, but your phone you just might.

The original idea for the task here was for one learner (or pair, or small group…) to try it out and then present the app orally to classmates; in fact by the end of the week a number of others were asking if they could download it as well, and a month later some were actually still using it more or less daily (thanks Deb for feedback on that — using it with late teens/young adults learning French).

Neat also that the courses are user-generated: which means that you — or your learners! — could create their own course, a great way to revise the vocabulary they've seen over the course of, say, a term.

Other apps you could suggest:

If you can suggest others, do add them in the comments…

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  1. I'm not sure quite how much learners would get from it — though this activity would be a place to test precisely that — but my son is currently addicted to the Letroca app with which you have to create words from a maximum of 6 letters.

    If you could get your learners addicted to English, well wouldn't THAT be great?!

  2. See also these 40 uses for smartphones in school.

    Both during and after class, you want to be using the smartphones that may be sitting idle in your learners pockets, both for class-related tasks and for independent learning.

  3. Thanks for that Jackie. Yes, very interesting ideas for a learner!

    And some interesting other things for learners on the site too. That's exactly the kind of site I think we want to be recommending to our learners, to make them better, more independent learners.

  4. One just for fun: Mind-blowing!

    But I think we should be sharing that sort of thing too, and have some sort of mechanism (Edmodo, WhatsApp…) for doing so.

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