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English language learners' reading self-efficacy and achievement using 1:1 mobile learning devices

  • Author(s): Walters, Jennifer L.
  • et al.
Abstract

Handheld technology devices allow users to be mobile and access the Internet, personal data, and third-party content applications in many different environments at the users' convenience. The explosion of these mobile learning devices around the globe has led adults to value them for communication, productivity, and learning. Outside of the school setting, many adolescents and children have access to, or own mobile devices. The use of these individual devices by children on a daily basis in schools is a relatively new phenomenon, with just four percent of elementary students doing so in classrooms in 2010(Gray, Thomas & Lewis, 2010). This mixed methods study researched a one-to-one implementation of percent devices in fourth- and fifth-grade elementary classrooms. The focus was to explore the mobile learning device's relationship to English language learners' reading achievement, to English language learners' self-efficacy in reading, and to explore the benefits and limitations of the device's daily use, as perceived by the students. The hypothesis was that the practice of reading and related literacy activities with mobile learning devices would augment English learners' vicarious learning experiences, and thereby effect student cognitive engagement, reading self-efficacy, and reading academic achievement. This study used validated surveys and assessments to measure students' beliefs about reading and their knowledge of reading. Additionally, English language learner interview data were also collected and analyzed to uncover perceived benefits and limitations of utilizing 1:1 mobile learning devices daily for literacy activities. Analysis of the data revealed significantly elevated levels of self-efficacy in reading for the experimental group with 1:1 handheld technology, while academic gains in reading for the experimental and control groups were statistically similar. Students in the experimental group described a virtually-enhanced socio-cultural context for communicating and learning with the handheld technology. Implications for practice, policy, and future research are discussed

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