Volume 17 Number 3

The Development of Advanced Learner Oral Proficiency Using iPads
Franziska Lys, Northwestern University

In this study, I investigate the use and integration of iPads in an advanced German conversation class. In particular, I am interested in analyzing how students learn with this new technology and how it affects the development of their oral proficiency level. Overall, my results suggest that iPads are well suited to practice listening and speaking proficiency at advanced levels, as learners were engaged in meaningful, purposeful, and goal-directed discourse. The learner-centered, task-based language learning approach using iPads facilitated interactions and provided scaffolded assistance. On average, students spent twenty-four minutes a week in video conversations on Face-Time alone. In addition, the required weekly recordings increased from a little over one minute at the beginning of the quarter to more than seven minutes for the last assignment. Although task complexity and linguistic complexity increased over the course of the quarter, students still felt comfortable and competent enough to produce increasingly longer speech samples.

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