The design and implementation of a mobile app for language learning

Kenneth Wong, Wai-Shing Ho, Fu Lee Wang, Reggie Kwan, Kat Leung and Issac Cheung
Caritas Institute of Higher Education
Hong Kong SAR, China


The growth and popularity of mobile applications have a profound impact on the learning environment. Students can use their mobile devices to enhance learning anywhere at any time, for example when waiting for a bus, walking on a street, and travelling on a train. Thus, the use of mobile apps for supporting language learning has become a major interest for educators. In order to provide an ubiquitous teaching and learning environment, our college has created a prototype of a mobile app for students on the Android platform and on the iOS platform, starting with learning English and Putonghua. The mobile app allows end-users to download and access learning materials whenever and wherever they like so that language learning is no longer constrained by time and space. The mobile app provides three modules for learning: course materials, video archives of seminars and lectures, and animated short films. The course materials module is connected to our course management system. Students can access the materials in the courses for which they are currently enrolled through the app. The materials can have different formats, including PowerPoint presentations, Word or PDF documents, audios and videos. Students can read the materials on their mobile devices. The video archive module contains a hierarchy of archived videos of seminars and lectures given by visiting scholars and guest speakers so that students are able to view/review the live recorded presentations even if they have missed the events. Finally, the module for animated short films provides interesting animation and revision exercises in order to introduce practical oral skills and interesting cultural facts. The films aim to broaden the studentsí horizons on language learning and to nurture their cultural awareness. This paper will share our experience in designing and implementing this mobile app for language learning.