Improving Second Language Speaking and Pronunciation through Smartphones

Sherine Akkara, Mallikarjuna Sastry Mallampalli, Venkata Surya Seshagiri Anumula

Abstract


The ability to speak English fluently and confidently plays a vital role in enhancing employment opportunities of graduate students of India. Though English has been a second language for over decades in the country, teaching speaking skills with intelligible pronunciation to the first generation of learners remains a major challenge. The limited number of classes allotted for English speaking and pronunciation and lack of resources make it more challenging. Previous research suggests that Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) offers anywhere and anytime learning opportunities for second language learners. However, there is little research on how mobile learning enhances speaking skills and pronunciation of tertiary level students from rural areas who lack exposure to English outside the classroom. The present paper aims at studying the impact of MALL in improving a) speaking skills b) segmental and suprasegmental features of pronunciation and c) the viability of bring your own device (BYOD) approach. Mixed methods approach has been adopted for collecting the data from twenty five (n=25) randomly selected students who underwent training with BYOD. The results showed a positive effect on the speaking skills and the overall intelligibility of the participants. The use of smartphones also resulted in improved learners’ engagement in the language learning. Teachers at tertiary level could benefit from the study, adopt digital technologies in L2 teaching and learning and further extend the scope of the study with their experiences.

Keywords


Speaking, Pronunciation, Intelligibility, Mobile Assisted Language Learning, BYOD

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International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (iJIM) – eISSN: 1865-7923
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