Improving student literacy in adult education through an immediate feedback tool

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Geertsema, Martie
Campbell, Chris
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Doha, Qatar


Intelligibility is what every English language learner strives for. To have the correct pronunciation and to be understood is a big part of the challenge to learning a new language. A contributing factor that makes correcting learner pronunciation difficult is the fact that many learners are unable to hear their own pronunciation mistakes, so speech to audio programs have limited value. A potential benefit of speech to text programs is that learners will be able to see their mistakes and thereby correct their own pronunciation with a technology they always have with them, is familiar with and is non-threatening. In addition, the fact that in remote areas 3G is more available than the Internet and mobile phones are cheaper than other digital literacy tools like iPads or laptops makes mobile phones as a teaching tool an appealing prospect. This project explores the possibilities DragonDictation, a free mobile phone app for voice recognition, brings to the adult ESL classroom, not only for the learners but also for the teachers. The extent to which it could be useful as an immediate feedback tool on pronunciation accuracy is explored, as are improvements to students speaking in English. The extent to which continued and supervised exposure to this digital literacy changes adult learners’ beliefs on the place of using mobile phones as a teaching and learning tool is also explored.

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QScience Proceedings: Vol. 2013, 12th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning (mLearn 2013)

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© The Author(s) 2013. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified

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