Huw Jarvis: From learner autonomy and CALL to Mobile Assisted Language Use (MALU) and e-acquisition
Many of our students are digital residents in that they spend a significant amount of their time accessing and communicating information using a variety of digital devices. Critically, such non-native speakers of English (NNSoE) reside in cyberspace in both their L1 and in their L2 and in doing so they “pick-up” English along the way. In this talk I will draw on a series of studies which examine the ways in which NNSoE make use of technology beyond the classroom in less formal learning contexts and the extent to which such uses are perceived as helping them learn and/or acquire English.
The talk will begin by defining key terms and critiquing long-established views of Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) and its role in learner autonomy before going on to argue that this is no longer adequate. Critical to this argument will be the significance of NNSoE residing in cyberspace on an anywhere anytime basis with a range of devices, and their use of various programmes, including social media such as Facebook in their daily lives. Studies which combine both quantitative and qualitative techniques point to: a significant role for both L1 and L2 and with it a recognition that unconscious acquisition is as important conscious learning activities. The work reported in this talk, together with work in progress, suggest a need to go beyond traditional views of learner autonomy CALL and to embrace an alternative notion of mobile assisted language use (MALU) which has, it is argued, the capacity to include notions of both e-learning and e-acquisition.