A Holistic Person-Centred Approach to Mobile Assisted Language Learning

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    Abstract

    Mobile assisted language learning—informal mobile language learning (IMLL) to be specific—is often characterized as contextualized, complex, heterogeneous, and idiosyncratic. In this dissertation, a novel person-centred approach is proposed and adopted to researching IMLL learners’ learning and developing another language, which shed light on the complexity, dynamism, heterogeneity, and commonality of informal language learning with mobile technology. Multiple sources of data (e.g., questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, learning journals, writing samples) were collected and analyzed with person-centred methods (e.g., cluster analysis, time-series clustering technique). Results showed that, despite the learner variety and heterogeneity in terms of learners’ IMLL experiences and developmental processes, there still existed different learner types (each learner type with distinct IMLL experiences) and typical developmental patterns (each pattern showing distinct developmental characteristics) across individuals. These patterned outcomes enable us to gain a better understanding of how L2 learners (differently) engage in varied mobile learning activities outside the classroom, and allow us to arrive at findings that transcend the individual level and are thus meaningfully interpretable within the specific IMLL context. Efforts were also devoted to the design and integration of learners’ informal mobile learning in L2 classroom agenda, which provides important insights for how L2 educators deal with the complex informal language learning phenomena in a cost-effective manner and implement pedagogically structured designs that establish bridges between the classroom and learners’ lifeworlds.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Lowie, Wander, Supervisor
    • Jager, Sake, Co-supervisor
    Award date17-Jun-2021
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Publisher
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

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