Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) SIG
Why have a SIG on MALL?
The field of Mobile Assisted Language Learning (henceforth, MALL) is an approach to language learning that is based upon the use of mobile devices (such as MP3/4 players, PDAs, smartphones like the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, and tablets like the iPad and Google Nexus 7/10). MALL combines mobile learning with computer assisted language learning. It has gained popularity in the last few years due to our hectic mobile lifestyle and the widespread adoption of mobile telecommunications and computing devices with Internet connections.
MALL offers a way to access learning materials and to interact with teachers and peers, transcending place and time boundaries in a way that has never been possible until now. As such, language learning has been made more approachable than ever. It can be incorporated into all modalities of education: secondary, tertiary, informal, online, blended, etc. However, MALL involves much more than flexible resource access and an easy way to shorten distances between learners. Researchers are designing and implementing techniques that maximize the many benefits of these new devices (which include the incorporation of usage context as a significant learning element, the diversification of learning programs, the possibility of real-time collaboration, large scale social interaction, scaffolding learning activities with realistic audio-visual support, etc.).
With the evolution of these lines of research and of the technological sophistication of the devices themselves (including the speed and reliability of Internet access from them), MALL will continue to become more popular and hence more relevant for people wishing to undertake language learning. A EUROCALL SIG in this field provides a forum for following these tendencies, sharing the research being undertaken, and reflecting together upon the present and future of the field.