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Mobile Assisted Language Learning Special Interest Group 

This page contains a list of research projects (divided into two sections: current and completed). Members of the SIG are free to add to the list if they actually participate (or have participated) in a relevant project. Each entry should have 6 fields: Name, Coordinator, Funding details, Dates, Summary and URL.

Current projects

Name: TELL-OP : Transforming European Learner Language into Learning Opportunities

Coordinator: Universidad de Murcia (Spain)

Other members : Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen (Germany), Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium), Bath Spa University (UK, Meliksah Üniversitesi (Turkey).

Funding details: Supported by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union - 2014-1-ES01-KA203-004782, a KA200 Higher Education Strategic Partnership, funded by the OAPEE and the EU.

Dates: 2014-2017

Summary: TELL-OP is a Strategic Partnership that seeks to promote the take-up of innovative practices in European language learning (Data Driven Learning, DDL) by supporting personalised learning approaches that rely on the use of ICT & OER by bringing together the knowledge & expertise of European stakeholders in the fields of language education, corpus & applied linguistics, e-learning & knowledge engineering in order to promote cooperation & contribute to unleash the potential behind already available web 2.0 services to promote the personalised e-learning of languages in the contexts of higher & adult education, in particular, through mobile devices.

The project aims at maximizing the role of learner language by promoting good practices in using these OERs in personalized language leaning contexts & thus contribute to the modernization of the HE systems in the EU & a more widespread use of innovative OERs that include not only English but also other EU languages that can serve as the basis for a more widespread use of these ICTs.

Instead of producing these OER resources, the TELL-OP consortium is interested in finding existing NLP OER that can suit the needs of language learner across different European languages (English, German & Spanish) & learning scenarios (Adult & HE education) & streamline these services by carrying out an exchange of good practices & evidence-based research that is focused on learners’ needs & not so much on context-free academic endeavours.

The objectives of TELL-OP are the following: (1) to promote the use of learner language information in the context of higher and adult education in Europe by offering concrete models of use that can be taken up by our target groups; (2) to survey and document the most relevant OE resources and services for language processing (text and voice) in the context of higher and adult education in Europe. That means,analyzing needs in the EHEA and primarily in the stakeholders’ countries and establish the starting point according to needs; (3) to raise awareness on the usefulness of using learner language input for the learning and teaching of languages in Europe in the 2 scenarios outlined in this proposal: formal HE and informal adult language education; (4) to promote a cluster group of EU experts and professionals who can bring together their different views and expertise in the fields of e-language learning, language education, corpus linguistics and knowledge engineering.; (5) to foster the usage of the OERs and  ICT-mediated language processing methods for the creation of the language information suitable for pedagogic purposes in English, Spanish and German.


Name: ILOCALAPP (Incidentally Learning Other Cultures And Languages through an APP)

Coordinator:  University of Bologna (Italy)

Other members: Adam Mickiewicz University (Poznan, Poland), University of Lapland (Rovaniemi, Finland) and Centre for Social Studies (Coimbra, Portugal)

Funding details: Erasmus + Strategic Partnerships for higher education

Dates: 01 October 2015 – 31 August 2018

Summary: The ILOCALAPP project (Incidentally Learning Other Cultures And Languages through an APP) aims to facilitate student mobility by means of a smart tool specially designed for mobile devices. The popularity of mobility programmes like Erasmus is growing more and more among youth, but this quantitative trend does not necessarily correspond to the high quality of the experience in terms of growth of proficiency in the language of the country of destination, and consequently in terms of intercultural comprehension and integration in the new environment as well. The ILOCALAPP project will face this challenge by developing an app for the incidental learning of 4 cultures and languages: Finnish, Italian, Polish and Portuguese. Following the principles of incidental learning, the acquisition of language and culture will rely on the learners’ participation in the process of knowledge creation, and will happen in a informal setting. ILOCALAPP will offer to mobility students the possibility to get acquainted with local language and cultural in a smart way, thus enabling them to integrate in and interact with the country hosting them. The objectives of the ILOCALAPP project are in fact: 1) to promote the integration of students in the new reality by providing them with a tool easy to be used; 2) to boost communication thanks to contents and situational experiences useful for everyday life; 3) to develop a tool aimed at the removal of cultural barriers thus improving social and behavioural competences and fostering integration and intercultural dialogue.

ILOCALAPP will be carried out by a transnational consortium composed of 4 partners: the University of Bologna (from Bologna, Italy), the Adam Mickiewicz University (from Poznan, Poland), the University of Lapland (from Rovaniemi, Finland) and the Centre for Social Studies (from Coimbra, Portugal).

After a preparation phase, the project is articulated in 3 macro-phases: 1) a methodological phase which includes the methodological discussion, the final users’ consultation and the production of a framework of situational experiences to be recreated in the app; 2) a production phase which includes both the content development as well as its technological implementation; 3) a testing and revision phase which includes the preparation of pilot users, their testing of the app, the collection and analysis of their feedback, the revision of both learning materials and technical aspects, and which will lead to the delivery of the final product.

The project addresses the needs of mobility students who are the main target users. They will be involved  in the activities at various stages throughout the project, starting from the initial months when a wide consultations on their expectations will be conducted. The culmination of the students’ involvement will be represented by the piloting phase of the app. Their feedback will be crucial as an indicator of achievement and will guide towards the finalised app. The results of the ILOCALAPP are thought to be exploited at all possible levels, from the local one to the international one. The app is based on the local contextualisation of the learning materials and it can thus be used in one of the four University cities of the project. But the final users are mobility students, i.e. students arriving there to spend a learning and/or training experience. They can come from all over Europe and even from the rest of the world. Moreover, the methodology which will be developed can be applied at higher levels than the local ones: it will represent a document for further exploitation related to other languages and cultures too. If the short-term impact is mainly linked to project participants, the main actors engaged in the long-term impact of the project results will be International Offices and Erasmus Offices of the participating institutions and of all institutions reached by dissemination activities, which will have the opportunity to propose the app to incoming and outgoing students also in the long term, after the end of the project.


Completed projects

Name: SO-CALL-ME (Social Ontology-based Cognitive Augmented Language Learning Mobile Environment)

Coordinator: Elena Bárcena (UNED)

Other members: Jorge Arús (UCM), José Javier Ávila (UNED), Cristina Calle (UCM), Mª Dolores Castrillo (UNED), Izaskun Elorza (USAL), Blanca García Riaza (USAL), Ana Ibáñez (UNED), María Jordano (UNED), Elena Mártin-Monje (UNED), Antonio Pareja (UCM), Lourdes Pomposo (UNED), Timothy Read (UNED), Pilar Rodriguez Arancón (UNED), Noa Talaván (UNED), Patricia Ventura (UNED)

Funding details: Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (FFI2011-29829)

Dates: 2011 - 2014

Summary: The goal of this project is twofold: firstly, to design and develop a theoretical framework for a new hybrid computer assisted modality for learning second languages, which is social, ubiquitous, and includes augmented reality techniques. This will be undertaken using the new generation of hand-held mobile devices that are permanently connected to the cloud (i.e., Internet, via small devices that can be easily carried; for example, smartphones, tablets like the iPad or Samsung Galaxy, etc., and to a lesser extent, netbooks and portable computers). Such a learning modality is argued to be flexible, adaptive, interactive, practical, dynamic and strongly based in everyday sociocultural communicative situations and contexts, where the second language is used in an authentic way. Secondly, to design and develop a linguistic ontology of audio-visual learning objects that potentiate this second language learning modality, thereby avoiding the inherent problems present in standard didactic materials, which are, generally speaking, textual by nature, “instructivist”, static and decontextualized from the surrounding sociocultural reality. The underlying hypothesis in this project is that the growing technological and informational sophistication of mobile devices could provide a key support for second language learning, which is not only convenient and easy to use, due to its portability and increasingly widespread use in the professional and university communities, but is also didactically rigorous and effective. Specifically, a qualitative improvement is sought in the set of communicative competences that students need for a natural, independent and effective use of the second language. Such an improvement would be achieved via a methodological approach for a technological environment that includes constructivist learning activities (structured in a nonlinear way). These individual and/or social activities are contextualised, essentially audiovisual, and include feedback and scaffolding modules. The result of this project would be a theoretical framework and ICALL (Intelligent Computer Assisted Language Learning) architecture called SO-CALL-ME (Social Ontology-based Cognitive Augmented Language Learning Mobile Environment). The starting point for this research is the I-AGENT system (Generic Adaptive Intelligent English Tutor), which is currently being finalised by the same group, ATLAS (Artificial Intelligence Techniques for Linguistic Applications). I-AGENT will provide an activity, materials and user management mechanism, together with the reasoning module used to adapt the activities and learning resources to the progress of each student. All other work would be original and come from the research undertaken in the project presented here.