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Towards a framework for evaluating language learning mobile apps

There has been a recent explosion in the availability of mobile apps for language learning. These vary in quality, aims, design, features etc. However, little has been published in terms of effective design and evaluation of language learning apps.

This paper will present a taxonomy of available apps and their use for language learning, whether they were designed for that purpose or not. The taxonomy has been classified according to the language learning skills the apps can help develop: reading, writing, listening, speaking, grammar, vocabulary and interaction.

The paper will also present the different frameworks that have been proposed for the evaluation of apps for learning and discuss the applicability of such frameworks to language learning in particular. Can apps offer true language learning solution? Do developers deliver the promises they make? Have developers learnt the lessons from the last 30 years of CALL software design? What are the implications for learner impressions of informal or formal language learning?


Fernando Rosell-Aguilar    
Department of Languages
The Open University (UK)
United Kingdom

Fernando Rosell-Aguilar is Lecturer in Spanish at the Open University, United Kingdom, where he writes teaching materials and chairs the presentation of courses with 800+ students. He also coordinates the provision of materials from the OU department of languages on iTunes U. In 2004 he received the Open University teaching award for his online learning materials. His research focuses on online language learning, mainly podcasting and mobile apps as teaching and learning tools, CMC learning environments (such as audio and video conferencing) and digital literacy. He has published his research in international journals such as Computers and Education, Language Learning and Technology, ReCALL, CALL, JaltCALL and Reading Matrix, and regularly presents at international conferences.


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