Goal 5 of the United Nations’ Education for All policy aims to provide equal opportunities for education, regardless of gender, by the year 2015 (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 1995-2010). By using mobile phone technology, women in Africa could be provided with equal access to language education, at the least. The proliferation of mobile phone usage and ownership in Africa and the need to narrow the current gender gap present in the educational systems of many African countries offer a ripe opportunity to use mobile-assisted language learning as a way to promote and increase the participation of educated African women on the world stage.
This literature review will examine the potential applications and intersections that mobile-assisted language learning (MALL) has with gender in Africa, and will propose new research in this emerging field of study. Questions to be explored include:
• What are the current barriers to mobile phone access and usage for African women and girls?
• Is there potential to use the mobile phone as a medium for African women and girls to learn a second language, given these barriers?
• What language learning formats for mobile phones could work well in the context of the lives of African women and girls?
• If there is potential for implementation of these formats, how could the lives of women and girls in Africa be impacted by mobile-assisted language learning?
|Keywords:||Mobile-assisted Language Learning, Girls’ Education, Women’s Education, Africa, Mobile Phones, Language Education|
Graduate Student, Applied Linguistics Department, University of Massachusetts at Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, USA