SALSA:Location triggered language learning: CALRG2016

Information about SALSA:Location triggered language learning: CALRG2016

Published on June 9, 2016

Author: mgaved



1. Location triggered language learning Mark Gaved, Alice Peasgood, Richard Greenwood Szkoła wyższa AptekaRozklad jarzdy

2. • Building on MASELTOV project • Exploring location-triggered English language learning in urban areas • Contextual learning more powerful • Learning at a relevant time, in a relevant location • Learning during everyday routine • Intended to be BYOD - domesticated

3. SALSA Research Questions • How do learners use mobile phone apps to support their informal language learning? • Where do learners use mobile phone apps to support their language learning? • Do learners find location based triggers effective in supporting contextual learning? Learner as well as device mobilities

4. Location-triggering via Bluetooth beacons • Small, low cost devices broadcasting basic information • A user’s mobile app can be enabled to look for the beacon’s transmission. • When it is near to the beacon and detects it, the app can notify the phone user of location-relevant content.

5. SALSA app (android)

6. SALSA affordances • Triggering: have to travel to location to access the content, reinforces learning • Can revise content after the trigger, so can fit into their routine (trigger unlocks the content) • Content is on the phone rather than the internet. Easier and more convenient • Audio and text at the same time • Hyperlinks within app to cross-reference vocab etc.

7. Participants • Recruited from Adult Continuing Education Centre, Bletchley • Approx. 60 current intermediate level students invited to take part (Level 1 ESOL/ CEFR B2) • 25 survey responses, 14 field trial participants

8. Participant information (survey n=25)

9. Method Survey about use of technologies for learning, level of English Two week field trial of SALSA app in Milton Keynes Data from pre- and post-interviews, diary study Image © Google 2014

10. Field Trial • 12 language activities (HEIF funding) • Locations around central MK, including Arriva Buses (No.7 electric bus) • Given map of locations • Field diary (on paper) • Debrief interview

11. Map of beacon locations

12. Interviews – key findings • Priority for these learners: fitting learning into everyday life – time and location • Location-triggering doesn’t necessarily lead to learning at the location. Social and practical factors influence where the app is used. • Location-triggered learning doesn’t just help learning at a location, in the moment, but also helps support revision, and planned learning (for future situations). Time and location interact.

13. Interviews – reasons for learning English • Priority for these learners: wanting to know how a native would speak, idiomatic phrases, formal vs informal, polite phrases, pronunciation. • Want to help their children, get a better job, fit in with the locals, become UK citizens • “In any culture in the world, if you don’t speak the language, it’s like you are blind and deaf.” ppt06

14. Themes – trigger as reminder or motivator Reasons for learning at trigger location: • discovering places as well as language: “At the place, when we go there, we have to look and learn.” ppt08 (ppt21 also sense of discovery) • curiosity about app content: checked app when phone buzzed to see what was there (ppt04) • triggering on phone encouraged more learning: reminder to learn (ppt06, ppt19)

15. Themes – preferred location Reasons for learning away from trigger location: • more time to learn (ppt08, ppt05, ppt09) • undisturbed, relaxed, private (ppt08, ppt05, ppt04) • fits into routine, learns on the bus (ppt04) • overloaded if uses app whilst in situation (ppt06, ppt09) • social context: won’t use phone or listen to audio in front of others (ppt04, ppt05)

16. Themes – preferred content/location • “It was easy to use, but maybe the contents are a little tricky to use in the place because it takes some time to use it.” ppt09 • Many participants only looked at brief sections of the content at the trigger location. Vocabulary, relevant phrases and pronunciation preferred for learning in the moment at the location. Grammar and dialogue tended to be studied away from the location.

17. Themes – convenience/access • “This is something, because this thing [phone] you have in your hand every day, you can just try every day.” ppt06 • Many participants already used their phones to support language learning to some extent (although this was new for some) • Content on the phone was easier to access than from websites (fewer clicks, stored on device).

18. Themes – prefer planned learning • “Something I always do before I do something. I read about how to say these things”. Ppt09 • Many participants expressed a preference to access the scenario content before they encountered the situation, not whilst they were in it. • Social context: wanting to prepare for that situation (e.g. exchanging goods at a shop etc.) • Scenarios were seen as useful, expected to use that content if they need to exchange goods in future.

19. Themes – reviewing content • needs to read several content times to learn (ppt08) • too busy to read app content when phone triggered, read later (ppt04) • prefers to make notes whilst learning (ppt09) • Many participants treated the field trial as a treasure hunt, visiting several beacons in a short time, then reviewing content elsewhere. The link between content and location was helpful, because the scenarios were seen as relevant to daily life.

20. Discussion • It’s not about the beacons. Other technologies likely to become available in future for location triggering. • Learners started the field trial with a range of learning strategies. Location-based triggers influenced some of them to think about different approaches for the future, esp. less experienced learners. Others kept their original habits. • Cultural sensitivities and social context influence the use of mobile devices in public.

21. SALSA: Sensors and Apps for Languages in Smart Areas Mark Gaved, Alice Peasgood, Richard Greenwood, Agnes Kukulska-Hulme, Ann Jones, Eileen Scanlon, Kevin McLeod Thanks to: Adult Continuing Education Centre (Bletchley), MK:Smart, Arriva Buses, Milton Keynes Council, XpressoNet, Christ Cornerstone Café, Milton Keynes Art Gallery

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