CALL to Arms: Generations Clash over Digital Technology in the Foreign Language Classroom

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Author: Sandor Danka, Assumption University, Thailand
E-mail: s.danka.tl@gmail.com
Published: August 16, 2017
https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.5.si.01

Citation: Danka, S. (2017). CALL to Arms: Generations Clash over Digital Technology in the Foreign Language Classroom. IAFOR Journal of Education, 5(SI). https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.5.si.01


Abstract

Is a smart phone a toy or a tool? Students can’t get enough of it – after all, social media notifications and viral videos do take time to reflect on – while teachers, quite understandably, are dismayed to see an excellent educational tool used purely for entertainment. This paper posits that these two concepts are not mutually exclusive. It proposes a possible common ground, ‘edutainment,’ the integration of interactive mobile technology with the classroom for new opportunities to effectively achieve learning objectives in a light-hearted spirit. This research study describes the attitudes and intentions of 121 Thai English as a Foreign Language (EFL) university students towards a playful, competitive smart phone application, its ease of use and perceived benefits to learning. Results of a cross-sectional examination through a paper-based, 4-page questionnaire seem to indicate general acceptance, widespread use and an altogether positive attitude to the software. The paper concludes by highlighting student impressions of its relevance to their studies and offering recommendations for further integration of digital teach-nology into foreign language classrooms.

Keywords

mobile technology, educational smart phone app, computer-assisted language learning, EFL