MALL (Mobile-Assisted Language Learning) is effective
A recent review of studies testing the effectiveness of mobile devices to promote language development (Sung, Chang & Yang, 2015) shows that this type of technology integration does in fact improve learning with an effect size of .55.
A crucial piece in foreign language education is the development of oral skills. MALL (Mobile-Assisted Language Learning) helps in this area by reducing the students’ anxiety and encouraging extra practice (Kessler, 2010)
Extempore is an effective type of MALL
A longitudinal study on foreign language speaking anxiety with college-age advanced learners using Extempore is currently being conducted. Some preliminary results are already available. When asked whether they feel more, less, or as confident speaking the target language as they would in a regular class without Extempore activities, 75.8% of the students said they felt more confident and 24.2% said they felt as confident. No participants felt less confident. The reasons cited for increased confidence include the extra speaking practice, the intimidation-free setting as opposed to face-to-face communication, and the regular feedback on speaking skills which usually doesn’t happen in classes that don’t use Extempore. Those who felt as confident as they would without Extempore said that they would still take advantage of opportunities to speak up in class in front of others and that they usually don’t feel intimidated using the target language in face-to-face interactions.
These results clearly show that Extempore boosts confidence in speaking in the target language for most learners, and it gives shier students the practice and regular feedback needed to develop their oral skills.
Kessler, G. (2010). Fluency and anxiety in self-access speaking tasks: The influence of environment. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 23(4), 361–375.
Sung, Yao-Ting, Kuo-En Chang & Je-Ming Yang (2015). How effective are mobile devices for language learning? A meta-analysis. Educational Research Review, 16, 68-84.