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This paper aims to enlighten the effective use of android applications in English Language Learning. Android application is a software running on the android platform built for the most sophisticated mobile devices such as smart phone, tablet PC etc.,. Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) is an extended form of CALL which eases the learner the constraints of time and luggage. This paper will analyze and explain the various ways in which the latest application will enhance and supplement the learner in the acquisition of language in a comfortable environment.
In the Millennial Generation, language teachers and learners are entering into the new refined era of m-learning (mobile learning) from e-learning (electronic learning). The integration of ICT, knowledge resources have become accessible to the student in ways that are beyond teacher's control. The students are generally conceived as "digital natives" or "screen generation," the teachers' traditional role has been reconsidered by educational researchers. Mobile technologies have dramatically evolved, promoting interest in mobile learning systems. It's a newly emerging learning style and offers learners the opportunity to learn on the move. And using digital educational materials for mobile learning is being popularized by education sector. m-learning is the next generation of the computer-aided and multimedia-based learning. The trend of taking to a profuse use of electronic portable gadgets as educational tools and the task of imparting the four skills (LSRW) has become the high demand of every language teacher today. By enlightening the efficiency of such technologies like Android Applications, English Language teaching and Learning will be portable, spontaneous, personal, exciting and creates a Virtual Learning Environment with more fun. It is an approach to learn language anywhere anytime through the use of handheld devices with superior variety of Applications and high speed networking. The Android platform is built for mobile devices and An Android app is a software application running on the Android platform which is designed for a Smartphone or a tablet PC running on the Android OS. It is user friendly and adds values to the second language learners. Using Android Applications in Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) is an approach to language learning that is assisted through the use of handheld mobile devices.
Starting from black and white phones to recent smart phones or mini computers, mobile OS has come far away. Especially for smart phones, Mobile OS has greatly evolved from Palm OS in 1996 to Windows pocket PC in 2000 then to Blackberry OS and Android. One of the most widely used mobile OS these days is ANDROID. Android is a software bunch comprises not only operating system but also middleware and key applications. Android is a Linux-based operating system designed primarily for touch screen mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet computers. The logo for the Android operating system is an apple green robot, designed by California-based graphic designer Irina Blok. Initially Android was developed by Android Inc, which Google backed financially and later purchased in 2005. After original release there have been number of updates in the original version of Android. Android 1.1 (Feb 2009) is the very first version of Android OS which support for saving attachment for MMS. Later it is updated continuously in the year 2009 with various facilities like Bluetooth, Picasa, Google support, HTML 5 file support, USB tethering etcâ€¦ Android spread all over the world and being used by most of the people, moving the cheese of all other OS with its latest versions "Android 2.3 Ginger bird" in 2010 and "Android 3.0 Honeycomb" in 2011 which supports multi touch software keypad, Adobe Flash 10.1, Wi-Fi hotspot functionality, 3D desktop, video chat and Gtalk support. Android has a large community of developers writing applications ("apps") that extend the functionality of devices, written primarily in a customized version of the Java programming language. These factors have allowed Android to become the world's most widely used Smartphone platform, and the software of choice for technology companies who require a low-cost, customizable, lightweight operating system for high tech devices.
Android has a growing selection of third party applications, which can be acquired by users either through an app store such as Google Play or the Amazon Appstore, or by downloading and installing the application's from a third-party site. Google Play formerly known as the Android Market is digital application distribution platform for Android, which allows users to browse and download music, magazines, books, movies, television programs, and applications that were published through Google. Applications are available either for free or at a cost, and they can be downloaded directly to an Android or Google TV device through the Play Store or onto a personal computer via its website. On March 6, 2012, with the merging of the Android Market and Google Music, the service was renamed Google Play to coincide with the rebranding of Google's digital distribution strategy. Any Android user now has the opportunity to learn English anytime and anywhere she or he wants. There are lots of Eduapps (Educational Apps) available for learners irrespective of age and qualification. According to a survey by Karenna Joy Sylvester, Bussu, English in a month, Learn English in pictures, my wordbook (British Council), Speaking Pal, Test your English Vocabulary, Voxy are some of the highly recommended Android Apps for English Language Learning. As of September 2012, there were more than 675,000 apps available for Android, and the estimated number of applications downloaded from the Play Store was 25 billion. Many have done their research on Android Applications and a few have done their survey on the usage of language learning apps as this is new trend in ICT and a emerging language learning resource.
We can get n number of Android Eduapps for English Language Learning for ubiquitous participation and guidance. Most of the apps help in language learning for improving all the basic four skills (LSRW), vocabulary, grammar and helps to prepare as well take tests on verbal for competitive examinations. Including varities of Dictionary apps, world's leading language learning authorities like British Council, Oxford University Press contributes plenty of English Language Learning apps and podcasts.
Bussu.com is the topnotch android application for language learning in current. It provides learning units for twelve languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Polish, Turkish, Arabic, Japanese and Chinese. Users select one or more of these languages and work through the self-paced units. Bussu offers courses on various levels based on need and performance like A1, A2, B1 and B2. Users enroll to study one or more languages. It has conversational examples with pictures which cover 150 different topics and situations. Its Extensive vocabulary containing more than 300 words and key phrases and it doesn't need an Internet connection once downloaded. We can also create a busuu.com profile and can ask for help from native speakers from the Bussu community. The study material for a language is typically broken down into around 150 units. Units consist of multiple-choice questions, speaking assignments, and writing assignments. Some sections within each unit include multimedia material, such as spoken multi-choice questions. Users act as both student and tutor, correcting one another's work. They can converse via a chat-window, an audio connection, or a webcam connection. Grammar units and some of the multimedia functions, such as video units, voice recording, and podcasts, are available only to premium members. The site sells materials from its partners, such as grammar reference books from Collins.
Listening is very much important in learning any language. Only when we listen to the speech on any language, we can absorb and reproduce the same when we speak in that particular language. Podcasts plays an important role in improving any ESL learners listening skills. The name derives from the combination of iPod and broadcast. A podcast is an audio or video program formatted to be played on the iPod and they are available for free or for purchase over the Internet. Popular Podcasts linked by iTunes are Effortless English Podcast, American English Pronunciation, Fun English Lessons, and English class101.com. Learn English Elementary is a very popular English Language Learning podcast among every ESL learner. This application is created and developed by British Council and available for free on the Google play market. Each part of the series is 20 minutes long and it includes questions which you can try to answer. The taped script is carefully designed for beginners to easily catch up, allowing easy retention of the things discussed for every episode of the show. It's really very easy to use and you don't need any Internet connection to use the app. Listen & Speak is an awesome Android app that helps language learners improve their foreign language learning using a set of predefined templates of how words should be pronounced and understood. Podcastsinenglish.com, English listening tests, TOEIC English listening comprehension tests, English podcasts for learners, ESL daily English, BBC podcast radio, etcâ€¦ are some of the useful android apps improving listening skills in English.
One can get confidence in speaking a language only when he gets good accent and correct pronunciation. For those people who have learned English but need to polish their skills, Test Your English I is the perfect app. As the app's name suggests, it contains multiple choice tests to evaluate how good you really are in speaking and writing English. The tests are about grammar, idiomatic expressions, and common errors in using English. Each type of test contains 10 questions and your score is evaluated at the end of each test. It's a very enjoyable way of learning more about English. Fluent English is another great Android app for English language learners. It helps them improve both their speaking and listening skills. It is like an audio book and has audio translations of any word you do not understand. It also provides pronunciation in different voices. Speaking Pal, Speak English, practice speaking English, Learn English with babble.com, English verb trainer, speaking tool, speak English correctly, mobile English test, English patterns Demo, basic English (phone), ministry of English, Conversational tagolog, etcâ€¦ are a very few of the English language learning android applications which enhances our speaking skills. Also, we have some apps for mock interviews with a set of predefined GDPIs. Android Applications like Booksy: learn to read platform, English reading tests, English reading comprehension, daily bible verses and apps for e-book readers for both intensive and extensive reading, stories for kids, reading practice, Reading speed tests are also available. English Grammar practice, English grammar by WAGmob, 1800 grammar tests (free), phrasal verbs, A guide to idioms & phrases, oxford grammar and punctuation, iPractice English grammar are a very few of the English grammar learning and testing apps. Learn English with babbel.com comes with a vocabulary containing 3,000 words which also includes pronunciations, images, and sample sentences, allowing you to easily understand and learn words. We have even more some interesting apps on language games to improve the vocabulary and to get prepared for competitive exams. Some of them are as follows: Ruzzle, Word crack free, Wordoholic, wordfeud, English word finder, minglebox.com, GRE tutor, Vocab builder for GRE SAT, GRE Pictionary, VocaBoss-Free (GRE, GMAT, CAT), IELTS and TOEFL Practice,Google Translate, Hangman, etc.
Age-Old techniques to learn are passed. More children are using mobile applications for their further study and it is explored in a newspaper article of 'The Times of India, Chennai' dated 14th Feb. '13. Extract from the article: "I realized that games like hangman and jigsaw puzzles help me work on my memory, improve my vocabulary and my visual perception and co-ordination. It took some time to convince my 'paati' but she finally relented," grins Janani, a student of a school on Taylor's road in kilpauk. (pg.4,Times City). Most of the apps make the learners to involve in smart thinking to focus on subject for extended duration, helps in self- assessment and at times acts as stress-busters as it gives a much-needed break in-between continuous hour of being bookworm as it has a colorful interface with audio and video effects for self-learning. The main advantage of using android apps for language learning is that students get the opportunity to develop their language knowledge in their fingertips. Moreover, Learners are excited about mobile learning. They love their gadgets, so learning is natural. Technology has made it very easy for language learners to easily and instantly grasp the communicative basics of a new language within a couple of months. Hand-held device will soon become part of classrooms across the country. And there is no doubt that we quickly headed for a world where m-learning is a fashionable and learner centered channel for language learning anywhere anytime with Answer Sheets on papers rather on Android Apps on Handy gadgets.
The application of new technologies and language learning android apps in ESL learning will boost the morale of the students in updating their skills. If the institutions set up for a Virtual Learning Environment the students may utilize the more useful ways to equip them for competitive and Entrance Examinations like GRE, TOEFL, IELT, CAT,CMAT, MAT,SAT, etcâ€¦ in their college itself. They need not spend their time and money after class hours in training centers. Further the syllabus will get strengthened by such induction. And testing also can happen via MAT (Mobile Adaptive Test). Android Apps leads to a earnest approach for any ESL learner in English learning on the move and hence these android applications supports English language learning around the clock with paperless handy digitalized devices which allows to participate in learning 24/7 and enhance the motivation of the learners in their pursuit of excellence as a complementary/extensive method in ESL learning.