10 New Features Of Mobile Learning For Acquisition Of English Skills

Mobile Learning For Acquisition Of English Skills

First was eLearning, and some educators consider mobile learning (mLearning) as the evolution of eLearning, and therefore both have many common features. eLearning courses all have one thing in common: They are, from beginning to end, entirely online. eLearning is one of the most popular ways for adult learners to gain new knowledge and skills.

However, it is vital that we understand the differences between the two:

  1. Mobile Learning is not exclusively online learning.
    The same mobile learning application could be used online or in the classroom; offline or at home; for self-study or guided learning. Below we will give an example of such a mobile application for active learning of English skills.
  2. Knowledge is information to be consciously memorized; whereas a skill is an ability that is trained subconsciously so that the learner is able to perform it with minimal input from the brain. So eLearning of knowledge and eLearning of skills, for example, English language skills, require different pedagogies and technologies. A distinction should be drawn between them from the start since these two types of eLearning use quite different tools and mechanisms.

Let’s consider which new features the mobile learning application for acquisition of English skills should possess to become the main tool of learning for 1.2 billion English learners in the world. It should be a complete contrast to the conventional mobile applications that have
the following common features:

  • They dissect the language into individual components and teach listening, reading, writing, pronunciation, speaking, and grammar separately. As the Learning Pyramid demonstrates, learning separate language components represents passive learning. In passive learning, a learner needs to spend four or five years of hard work to speak English fluently.
  • They teach vocabulary lists outside of authentic context and use some sort of flashcards to memorize the words and phrases.
  • When learning English, we would be much better off using the new mobile application that could be used in the classroom, after the class is over, online and offline, self-study or guided learning; basically anywhere anytime. The new application is based on the new pedagogy of the subconscious Active Learning of English skills and the new technology of open-ended applications that in addition to pre-installed lessons and drills allows an addition of new lessons by learners or teachers.

New Features Of Mobile Learning For Acquisition Of English Skills

1. 3 Actions Performed Simultaneously

Active Learning of English skills consists of 3 actions performed simultaneously: Reading the text, listening to the recording, and speaking it at the same time. It helps the learners to interact with the authentic material according to their learning style. It automatically turns off the innate habit of cross-translating into the native language when listening to or speaking in English.

2. Active Learning Implemented In The Application

The Active Learning implemented in the application precludes learning separate words or components of English, like listening skills without reading or conversational skills. Instead, the Active Learning creates an environment allowing all students to speak in the class ab0ut 80% of the class time, irrespective of the number of students in the class. The mobile app facilitates acquiring language patterns and intuitive grammar while the learner re-enacts comprehensible situations exclusively in English.

3.  Support In The Native Language

Support in the native language ensures a stress-free environment and comprehensible input. Translation of all lessons and drills is organized in a way that eliminates cross-translation: contextual translation (only one word) appears for a limited time while learners hear and repeat multiple times the English pronunciation of the collocation.

4. Special English

EFL beginners don't recognize English phonemes and require Special English. The mobile application uses Special English for the first ten lessons to help adults recognize, then imitate, and finally, produce English phonemes. After that, regular English speech is used for active learning of English skills.

5.  Lessons According To The Learners' Interests And Needs

Add new lessons to the application according to the learners’ interests or vocational needs. The mobile application lets learners add material of their own choice to each pre-recorded lesson by copying and pasting (or manually entering) text and using the high-quality voice robot to perform the simultaneous repetition of the new material.

6. Priming Implicit Memory

Priming Implicit Memory that sets the stage for learners to start the subconscious process of Active Learning by invoking “retention without remembering”. It exposes the learner to a word cloud of the words being introduced in a lesson while they listen to relaxation music for about 60 seconds. Priming implicit memory also activates the right hemisphere of the brain and prepares for subconscious learning of English skills.

7. Built-In Tests Of Active Vocabulary And Fluency

Testing of active vocabulary and fluency is built into every lesson. Learners take a test after they complete each lesson by putting on earphones with a microphone and saying a few sentences on any topic from their past experience, prompted by the word that drops down randomly from the word cloud. Learners use earphones with a microphone for both self-study and guided learning to ensure high audio quality during both simultaneous repetition and testing.

Built-in reading and speaking fluency tests, along with testing active vocabulary, provide gamification elements and keep the learner engaged. Responding quickly during tests helps learners develop the habit of automatic speech by pushing them to think directly in English.

8. Use Of Social Networking And Guided Learning

The learner’s speaking is recorded, and he has the option of sharing it via social networking or by attaching it to an email for sharing with a teacher. The program automatically determines the learner's reading fluency and gives recommendations for improving reading skills.

9. Recordings By Native Speakers

An inspiring poem, recorded by a native speaker, is included in each lesson and helps the learners to get emotionally involved. After a few repetitions, the learners remember the poem by heart (the same way they learn a song by listening to it several times) since it resonates with their vision and feelings.

10. Simultaneous Repetition

Simultaneous repetition is a well-known technique in the Chinese Martial Arts. Bringing simultaneous repetition into Active Learning of English Skills corresponds both to the Chinese culture and to the learning habits of digital natives, who prefer self-study using their mobile devices to boring lectures of English teachers about the language. It is easier to become fluent in English with an Active Learning application and rewarding to see much faster results. Adults may acquire fluency in English in less than twelve months, due to the synergy of the latest technology and the new pedagogy of Active Learning of English skills.

For every native speaker, there are three non-native speakers. It is natural and obvious that English as the language of global communication differs from Standard English by its limited vocabulary (1500 – 2000 words), reduced speed of speech (about ⅔ of the speed of a native speaker), and simplified grammar that is more close to intuitive grammar than to formal grammar. Some call this global language Special English, others prefer the term Globish. Whatever terms you will use, remember that it is not an objective; it is a practical result of the current situation when 75% of global communications in English are carried out by non-native speakers. English learners at the beginning don't recognize English phonemes and require Special English for stress-free learning. The mobile application uses Special English for the first ten lessons to help adults recognize, then imitate, and finally produce English phonemes. After that, regular English speech is used for active learning of English skills.

Finally, here is the list if the new features of the mobile application for Active Learning of English skills:

  1. All English skills are learned actively and simultaneously.
  2. Subconscious learning of language patterns and intuitive grammar.
  3. Support in the native language is a must for comprehensible multimedia input.
  4. Addition of new lessons is built-in the application, making it open-ended and suitable for corporate training of English skills.
  5. Priming Implicit Memory is invoking “retention without remembering”.
  6. Testing of active vocabulary and fluency is built into every lesson.
  7. The application develops the habit of automatic speech by pushing the learners to think directly in English.
  8. The application allows sharing recordings via social networking or   with a teacher in case of guided corporate learning.
  9. Learners start thinking in English and acquire intuitive grammar that acts as a feeling of what is right and what is wrong.
  10. The synergy of the new technology and the new pedagogy   helps learners to become fluent in less than 12 month.

If this information aroused your interest and you would like to do your own research or re-training of your belief system, you would need the following links:

  • Active Learning pedagogy and application described here.
  • Active Learning Android app could be downloaded from Google Play Store.
  • The application英语自学宝 translated as English self-study treasure - could be downloaded from the Tencent store in China.
  • The USA patent issued in June 2017 could be found here.
  • The text of patent application in China could be found here.