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Technological Applications for Language Education: Preliminary Conclusions after the Design and Implementation of Mobile Learning Language Apps for Professionals

According to a recent research carried out by Aruba Networks to take stock of mobility’s increasing prominence in our lives by surveying over 5.000 members of the public across the USA, UK, France, Spain, Germany, Sweden, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and UAE, 86% of all respondents have two or more connected devices (those with the ability to connect to the internet), and nearly two thirds (64%) already own three or more connected mobile devices. Another 39% own four or more. The fact is that we live on the move: mobility and mobile devices have become a more integrated part of everyday life, including working anytime, anywhere and entailing lifelong learning. Research on language teaching / learning must focus on the analysis and development of technological applications (apps) as a learning formula that adapts to the specific needs of our modern society. We agree with Godwin-Jones (2011) that MALL activities should be app-based: “…this is not a trend language educators can ignore.”
The aim of this paper is to present some preliminary results and conclusions after the design and implementation of Language Learning Apps undertaken by the ATLAS research group in the context of the SO-CALL-ME (Social Ontology-based Cognitively Augmented Language Learning Mobile Environment) project. As presented in EUROCALL 2013, the SO-CALL-ME project was established to enable MALL apps designed and developed within the ATLAS group to explore the way in which students can improve their oral language skills “on the move.” One year later we present some initial conclusions following the implementation of some of the apps already developed and the analysis of some study cases exposed in the context of the II International Workshop on Technological Innovation for Specialized Linguistic Domains – Lifelong Learning on the Move (TISLID’14).
Keywords: MALL, second and foreign language, languages for special purposes.

Acknowledgements. We would like to thank the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation for funding the SO-CALL-ME research project (Research grant number: FFI2011_29829)

Aruba Networks (2014). Are You Ready For #GenMobile. How a new group is changing the way we work, live and communicate. Retrieved from
Godwin-Jones, R. (2011). Mobile apps for language learning. Language Learning & Technology, 15(2),
2–11. Retrieved from
Pareja-Lora, A. et al. (2013). Toward Mobile Assisted Language Learning Apps for Professionals that Integrate Learning into the Daily Routine. In L. Bradley & S. Thouësny (Eds.), 20 Years of EUROCALL: Learning from the Past, Looking to the Future. Proceedings of the 2013 EUROCALL Conference, Évora,
Portugal (pp. 206-210). Dublin/Voillans: ©


Maria Dolores Castrillo    
Department of Foreign Philologies and their Linguistics
Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia UNED

Dr. Castrillo obtained a First Class Honours PhD in English Philology from the UNED. She is Professor of German Studies at the Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics from the Faculty of Philology at the UNED (Deputy Dean for Research and Students 2009-2013). She is a member of the ATLAS research group and her current main fields of research are mobile learning and MOOCs (Massive, Open, Online Courses. She has recently won the first national prize to the best MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) given by the Spanish Ministry of Education in the first edition of such prize (2013) and she also won a national prize to the best OCW (Open Course Ware) given by the Spanish Ministry of Education in the first edition of such prize (2008).

Elena Bárcena    
Department of Foreign Philologies and their Linguistics
Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia UNED

Elena Bárcena Madera is an associate professor in the Department of Modern Languages at UNED, the Spanish national distance learning university, where she is the Director of the Posgraduate Program (Masters and Doctorate) in Information and Communication Technologies for Language Learning and Processing, the Director of the Masters Modular Program in English for Specific Purposes, the Coordinator of the Ph.D. Program in English studies, and the Director of the first language MOOC in Spain. She has been the director of the ATLAS (Applying Technologies to Languages; research group since 1997, working on technological and methodological innovation in the field of Applied Linguistics, particularly in relation to specialized linguistic domains. She did her tertiary education in the universities of Deusto (Spain), Manchester (UK), UMIST (UK) and Liège (Belgium), and has held different teaching and research posts in the universities of the Basque Country, Seville and Granada (Spain). She has been the leader of a number of officially funded national research projects on CALL related topics and has published extensively in this field at both national and international levels. She is also an expert adviser for national and international institutions and a member of the editorial board of a number of specialized journals. She is currently working on the boundaries between formal and non-formal language learning, particularly on Mobile Assisted Language Learning and Massive Open Online Courses.

Antonio Pareja-Lora    
Departamento de Sistemas Informáticos y Computación (DSIC) / ATLAS
Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) / UNED

Antonio Pareja-Lora got a PhD in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM). He is a Lecturer at DSIC (Facultad de Informática, Universidad Complutense de Madrid - UCM). He has carried out research works for more than a decade on natural language processing, linguistic and/or ontological annotation and the ontological representation of linguistic phenomena, data categories and relations. Dr. Pareja-Lora is also an expert of the ISO/TC 37 Committee (standardisation of terminology, language resources and linguistic annotations), being also the Secretary of AENOR’s CTN 191 (the national body committee corresponding to ISO/TC 37). He is also one of the officers of ACL SIGANN (Special Interest Group for Annotation of the Association for Computational Linguistics). More recently, he has joined the ATLAS (UNED) research group and has started developing MALL apps within the SO-CALL-ME R&D project.


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