Smart Mobile Assistance in Language Learning

ChinaCALL 2020 | Beijing Foreign Studies University, Beijing | 5th December 2020

Learning a second or foreign language is a challenging endeavour which requires various degrees of support. Alongside existing resources and tools such as mobile apps, the emergence of smart technologies including chatbots and conversational agents has the potential to assist language learners wherever they may be. However, whilst a growing number of researchers and developers are working on such intelligent assistants across different disciplines, little is known about their application in language learning. The concept of ‘smart mobile assistance’ seeks to draw together the ways in which such intelligent tools on mobile, wearable and portable devices can provide instantaneous or ongoing support to language learners inside or outside the classroom. Smart assistants might answer questions, support study habits and extend opportunities for language learning and language practice. It is argued that they can support beneficial approaches including self-directed and reflective learning. The keynote will map out this emerging territory, consider some findings from recently analysed research literature, and highlight implications for educators wishing to embrace such developments in their teaching practice.

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