Assalamualaikum and Hello Dr Burn,
The use of wireless mobile technology such as tablet, Smartphone and laptop in education is making teaching and learning experience become more flexible where students can learn from anywhere and at anytime. In fact, research shows that mobile devices can be more easily integrated across the curriculum than desktops (Moseley & Higgins, 1999). This is possible since many students already have mobile devices as it is not as complex as desktop computers. Additional research shows gains in students’ motivation, analytical and organizational skills and comprehension, writing, grammar skills, and originality.
For the purpose of this task, I’ll choose Smartphone as the best mobile technology to be used by students in ESL classroom. Each one of the mobile technology listed; Smartphone, tablet and laptop has their own advantages and weaknesses. However, in my point of view, Smartphone is a great choice to be used for teachers and students in an ESL classroom as one of the tools to enhance the teaching and learning experience. Apart from it is not as big as laptop and tablet, nowadays students can get a Smartphone as low as RM200! Note to be taken that not all students capable to buy a laptop or a tablet, but generally they are capable to buy a Smartphone since there are a lot of choices given to buyers to be choose on. In current situation, it is quite normal to see all students in one classroom to have a Smartphone, but it is quite uncommon to have every student to have their own tablet or laptop, especially for students in sub urban and rural areas.
There are a lot of applications that can be used by using Smartphone in ESL classroom. One of the applications that can be used is known as ‘Rosetta Course’. The good thing about this application is that, you can choose your level by choosing the option given which are; beginner, intermediate, advance. If you choose to have a beginner level, it actually really treats the ‘learners’ as a blank slate as it teaches the learner from the basic form to a more complex form. It may sound irrelevant for those who have a strong foundation in English, but take into consideration for those students that are really weak in English. Thus, teacher can adjust the level based on the students’ proficiency.
The other application that can be practice in an ESL classroom is known as ‘FluentU’. It is indeed an interesting application as it promotes a very fun and interactive way of learning to the learners. As for instance, there are numbers of music videos and movies provided for learners to watch on. Uniquely, all the videos are also provide with English subtitles to allow learners to watch, listen and read at the same time. Learners can indirectly learn the correct way of pronunciation when they listen to the audio and read the subtitles at a time. Other than that, learners can also attempt several level of quizzes provided to see their performance or ability in English. The most important element here is that, it will easily able to attract students’ attention to it as it really meet most of the students’ interest by providing current music videos and movies.
In the nutshell, mobile technology can be a great tool to be used to in ESL classroom. However, teachers need to always aware on how to ensure that the lessons created are suitable with the target students in term of the location of the school;( urban, sub- urban, rural), level of proficiency; (low, intermediate, advance) as well as their family background or SES (poor, average, rich).