Teaching and learning the smart way

Smartphone technology and the language classroom

  • Chase Krebs


Many course syllabi for university-level language courses contain a clause prohibiting the use of cellphones during class. I call this practice into question by considering the potential benefits of using Smartphone (SP) technology to supplement language instruction. I begin with an examination of current practices regarding the use of SP technology in university-level language classrooms and demonstrate that, although a majority of instructors and students own a SP device, the available data suggest that SP technology is not being taken advantage of for instructional purposes. Language instructors have legitimate concerns regarding the use of SP devices in class, and several of these are discussed, along with ways these issues might be mitigated. The last part of the article is dedicated to providing guidance for selecting SP applications (apps) to supplement language instruction, and several specific apps that can be used in the language classroom are highlighted.