Using Mobile Technology in Language Learning: Merits and Demerits

Radin Honarzad


The number of mobile users is expected to surpass the 5 billion mark by the end of 2019, worldwide (“Global Mobile Landscape,” 2016). The ubiquity and portability of mobile technology have opened up new horizons for language learning and teaching (e.g., McCarty, Sato & Obari, 2017; Bradley, 2015; El Hariry, 2015). The focus of this study is to shed light on the possible merits and demerits of mobile devices for language learning. Understanding these merits and demerits will increase the success rate of mobile technologies integration into educational settings. Teachers and students have always been interested in finding new paths that may lead to enjoyable language learning (e.g., using various online/offline resources and educational mobile apps). However, as it will be discussed in detail, a number of issues exist regarding the demerits of MALL such as technical problems, distractions and so forth. Altogether, we can safely say that the merits of MALL outweigh its demerits because technology is constantly evolving and some of the current demerits will probably disappear in the future.

Keywords: MALL (Mobile Assisted Language Learning), mobile learning, m-learning, mobile technology

DOI: 10.7176/JEP/10-1-01

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