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June 16, 2020 Tuesday 01:48:41 PM IST

Mobile Language App Improves Oral Proficiency

Image by Gerd Altman for Pixabay.com

Studies done on a Spanish language learning mobile app revealed  that students who had used the app for 12 weeks show improvements in the knowledge of the language and the ability to communicate. Shawn Loewen, Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Germanic at Michigan State University said that oral skills had improved in students who had used the app and learning gains in terms of oral proficiency, grammar and vocabulary were correlated with the amount of time students investing in using the app. Among the report's findings, 59% of participants improved oral proficiency by at least one sublevel on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages proficiency scale. The proportion of learners who improved rose even higher among those who spent more time using the app. For those who studied at least six hours, 69% increased at least one sublevel, improving to 75% for those who studied for at least 15 hours.

In the study, which is published in Foreign Language Annals, 85 undergraduate students at MSU used Babbel for 12 weeks to learn Spanish. At the beginning of the study, the students took a pre-test to assess their existing oral proficiency, vocabulary and grammar in Spanish. After 12 weeks, the 54 students who completed all study requirements took the same test again to see how much knowledge they had gained. 
"Despite the fact that millions globally are already using language learning apps, there is a lack of published research on their impact on speaking skills,” Loewen said. “There are virtually no other studies that have investigated mobile language learning apps in a quasi-experimental way. Therefore, this robust and methodologically rigorous study makes an important contribution to the field."

Courtesy: https://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2020/new-study-gives-insight-on-effectiveness-of-language-learning-apps/







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