Why am I doing this?

One of my friends just graduated from the University of Ottawa.  She asked me the other day if i was writing a thesis and I told her that I was.  She asked what the subject matter was and I told her I was investigating student perceptions of language learning through mobile technology.  She asked…..”Why?”

That was actually a great question.  Why am I doing this? Beside the obvious answer of it being a requirement of the course. Originally I was interested in investigating the link between text based language exchange and how it might affect a person’s written English skills.   After a few discussions with Dr. Li and further investigation of the data I would have been working with my focus shifted towards the perceptions of text based intervention through mobile technology.  The subject matter is similar but more progressive in the sense that it focuses more on the mobile side of technology. Which is quite interesting to me.    So why the perceptions then?

 Hsu (2013) stated that research activities that have utilized mobile platforms and activities such as email and text messaging have most often indicated that ELL students approve of and enjoy the use of mobile technology in developing their language skills. While both Kim (2013) and Dugas (2005) noted that language learning instructors should consider these student perceptions before implementing mobile language learning activities.

That was the connection for me.  I have always been interested in the notion of using technology to provide language instruction, but the piece I was missing was understanding how the learners themselves would feel about that approach.  If I can use this class as an opportunity to understand the way language learners feel about using their mobile devices to learn it will improve my understanding on how to develop innovative new ways to teach.  Which in the end is my main goal.

That is one of the things I like most about the AEDT program.  We are given the freedom to explore things that are not only interesting to us personally but can be used to develop ourselves for the field of work we plan on pursuing.


Dugas, C. A. (2005). Adopter characteristics and teaching styles of faculty adopters and non- adopters of a course management system (Doctoral dissertation, Indiana State University).

Hsu, L. (2012). English as a foreign language learners’ perception of mobile assisted language learning: a cross-national study. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 1, 1-17.

 Kim, D. (2013). Students’ perceptions and experiences of mobile learning. Language, Learning & Technology, 17(3), 52.