Role of mobile technology in enabling learning and EFL learning: an ecological account of the pedagogical decisions of Pakistani lecturers

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dc.contributor.advisor Tolosa, Constanza
dc.contributor.advisor Feick, Diana Shamsi, Uzma Rana 2022-01-09T20:42:30Z 2022-01-09T20:42:30Z 2021 en
dc.description.abstract The highly fast-paced advancement of mobile technology has been considered potentially revolutionary for teaching and learning, including L2 (second language) teaching and learning. Over the last two decades, a growing number of empirical studies have demonstrated that mobile technology can facilitate situated, personalised, formal, informal, and collaborative language learning across multiple contexts. While previous studies have established various benefits of Mobile-Assisted Language Learning (MALL), there is little evidence concerning the potential benefits of incorporating mobile technology in language pedagogy. Notably, in a resource-constrained context like Pakistan, where students’ ownership of mobile devices surpasses their ownership of desktop or laptop computers, empirical evidence of the role of mobile technology for EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teaching and learning is required. This study investigated a comparatively less explored niche about the incorporation of mobile technology in pedagogy to enable EFL learning in Pakistani universities. The current study also elicited EFL learners’ perspectives and practices about the use of mobile technology for L2 learning. An ecological paradigm was adopted as the theoretical framework to conduct a thorough and rigorous investigation of the interdependent relationships of mobile-integrated EFL teaching and learning in Pakistani universities. A mixed methods research approach has been used as it aligns with the ecological paradigm underpinning this study. Using qualitative instruments, data were collected from six EFL lecturers through initial semi-structured interviews, lesson observations, and post-observation interviews to investigate the complexities of Pakistan's learning eco-system. Data were triangulated using a quantitative survey and three focus groups to document students’ perceptions and practices about using mobile technology for EFL learning. Data analysis identified various affordances and constraints of mobile technology; there was evidence of mobile technology playing a significant role in enabling or inhibiting EFL learning in Pakistani universities. It appeared that the ubiquitous availability of mobile technology, with its inherent flexibility, was the primary reason for its incorporation into the lecturers’ pedagogical decisions and practices. The findings indicate that mobile technology integration in the lecturers’ pedagogical decisions and practices was driven, also, by context (e.g., lack of technological and educational resources) and determined by the students’ learning practices. Overall, the participants utilised mobile technology mainly as a dissemination/communication tool, a storage device, and an access point. Evidence was also found that the affordances of mobile technology played a crucial role in helping lecturers situate EFL activities in authentic/informal contexts providing students with opportunities for interacting with multiple contexts and people. Analysis of the questionnaire and focus groups data revealed the students’ learning contexts ranged from the traditional classroom to mobile-mediated learning at virtual platforms in which they interacted with their peers and other online interlocutors across times and spaces. The study also revealed tensions that stemmed from the students’ unpredictable mobile-mediated learning practices that were inconsistent with the lecturers’ pedagogical decisions and practices. This study complements and contributes to the existing body of knowledge in the field of m- learning and MALL. Theoretically, this study suggests the use of an ecological paradigm to interrogate the complexities of mobile-mediated teaching and learning. It extends our understanding of the interconnectedness of teaching and learning in mobile-integrated learning ecosystems with practical implications for resource-constrained contexts. This study identifies how teachers can leverage mobile technology to provide learners with extended exposure to L2 learning, particularly in foreign language contexts. It emphasises the need for lecturers’ continuous and informed guidance to help learners benefit from mobile technology for EFL learning. This study also offers policy implications by highlighting the need for teachers’ professional development programmes to harness mobile technology affordances in better, creative, innovative and informed ways.
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.
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dc.title Role of mobile technology in enabling learning and EFL learning: an ecological account of the pedagogical decisions of Pakistani lecturers
dc.type Thesis en Education The University of Auckland en Doctoral en PhD en 2021-12-21T16:22:45Z
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
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