Smartphones Promote Autonomous Learning in ESL Classrooms

Volume 3- Issue 4
Viji Ramamuruthy Srinivasa Rao
Pages: 23-35 Download Count : 1598 View Count: 1012 Facebook Share on Google+ Save to Zotero Save to Mendeley

Abstract:


The rapid development of high-technology has caused new inventions of gadgets for all walks of life regardless age. In this rapidly advancing technology era many individuals possess hi-tech gadgets such as laptops, tablets, iPad, android phones and smart phones. Adult learners in higher learning institution especially are fond of using smart phones. Students become passive in the classrooms as they are glued to their smart phones. This situation triggers the question of whether learning really takes place while the students are too engaged with their smart phones in the ESL classroom. In this context, the following questions are framed to investigate this issue: What type of learning skills are gained by using smartphones in ESL classrooms? Does smartphone use promote the autonomous learning process? To what extent do learners rely on the lecturers in addition to the usage of smartphones? What are the learning satisfactions gained by ESL learners using smartphones? A total of 70 smartphone users in the age range 18 to 26 years participated in this quantitative study. Questionnaires eliciting demographic details of the respondents, learning skills, learning satisfaction, students' perception on teacher's role in the ESL classroom and autonomous learning were distributed to all the randomly chosen samples. The data were then analyzed by using SPSS version 16. The findings revealed that smartphone use boosted learners’ critical thinking, creative thinking, communication and collaboration skills. In fact, learners gain great satisfaction in the learning process through smartphones. Although learners have moved toward autonomous learning, they are still reliant on the teachers to achieve their learning goals..

Keywords

  • Smart phones
  • Mobile learning
  • Autonomous learning and 21st century learning skills
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