EFL Learners’ Perspectives on the use of Smartphones in Higher Education Settings in Slovakia
Keywords:EFL learner, mobile learning, smartphone and language learning, attitudes and perceptions, process of learning English
AbstractMALL (Mobile assisted language learning) affords new opportunities for EFL (English as a foreign language) learners and teachers. Research on MALL is still in its infancy in Slovakia, and this paper attempts to fill in this gap by examining students’ perception and attitudes towards the use of smartphones for the purposes of learning and practicing English. The target population of this study constituted of the Slovak university EFL learners whose major was Teacher Training of English Language and Literature (n = 77) at a Slovak university. The research method employed to achieve the objectives of this study was a 5‑point Likert scale questionnaire, comprising of two sets of statements: general and out‑of‑the‑classroom statements with a total of 29 items. The research results for both sets of statements imply that the participants display moderately positive attitudes towards smartphones in the context of EFL learning. However, the findings also reveal some issues surrounding the perception and potential use of smartphones such as the inability to plan students’ language learning appropriately and effectively, general underuse of smartphone apps, or problems related to practicing speaking skills. The results further suggest the immediate need to develop and enhance the awareness of smartphones and their potential in the process of teaching and learning English so that the EFL learners can utilize considerable opportunities these smart devices offer. Finally, the limitations of this study are recognized, and it is emphasized that conducting further research in this area is urgently needed.
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