An investigation into the validity of mobile technologies as a support structure for first year students studying German as a foreign language in a South African context

Stander, Alison Gretchen (2011-03)

Thesis (MPhil (Modern Foreign Languages. Hypermedia for Language Learning))--University of Stellenbosch, 2011


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The high penetration rate of mobile devices all over the world, and especially in South Africa, has significantly increased the relevance of Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL). The objective of this study is to ascertain the viability of incorporating MALL technology to enhance the language learning experience of South African university students who are studying a foreign language. The students enrolled for the beginners’ German course at Stellenbosch University served as participants in this study, and surveys and interviews were used to establish their exposure to mobile devices, as well as their experiences in relation to the incorporation of Short Messages Service (SMS) into their German course. The results indicate that although the vast majority of students are mobile device owners, only a few students will embrace the idea of using these devices to improve their language skills without any incentive. Without constant motivation and encouragement to use mobile technologies, and the willingness from everybody involved in both teaching and learning a foreign language, mobile technology as a support structure cannot be implemented successfully.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Weens die hoë indringingsaanslag van mobiele toestelle regoor die wêreld, en so ook in Suid-Afrika, het die relevansie van Mobiele Ondersteuning vir Taal Onderrig (MOTO) aansienlik verhoog. Die uitkoms van die studie is om te bepaal wat die lewensvatbaarheid is, van die inkorporering van MOTO tegnologie om die taal aanleer ervaring van Suid-Afrikaanse studente wat `n vreemde taal aanleer te verhoog. Die studente wie geregistreer was vir die Duits beginners klas by die universiteit van Stellenbosch, het gedien as deelnemers aan die study. Opnames en onderhoude was gebruik om die studente se blootstelling ten opsigte van mobiele toestelle vas te stel, so ook hul ervaring van die inkorporering van kortboodskapdienste (SMSe) in die Duitse module. Die resultate toon dat alhoewel die meeste studente eienaars is van een of ander mobiele toestel, dat daar slegs `n paar studente is wat die konsep van die gebruik van hierdie toerusting vir die verbetering van taal vermoë, sonder enige insentief, aangryp. Sonder konstante motivering en aanmoediging om mobiele toestelle te gebruik, en die bereidheid van almal wie betrokke is in beide die leer en die onderrig van ’n vreemde taal, sal die implementering van mobiele tegnologie as ’n ondersteuningsmiddel nie suksesvol geskied nie.

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