The Ubiquitous Language Lab: Using the iPod Touch to Enhance Language and Culture Acquisition

By Simone Bregni.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The advantages of realia as a whole have already been extensively explored from a theoretical standpoint (for example see Dlaska, 2003 and Spurr, 1942). The advantages include the development of specific personal interests in exploring, and therefore, acquiring the foreign/second language and culture within a context. The ultimate goal is to turn the student into a life-long learner of the target language and culture. Digital realia have become easily accessible tools for cultural exchange and language acquisition. A variety of such realia can enhance the learning process for students of foreign language and culture, and can improve the quality of the instructor’s teaching. This paper aims to present a practicum. It explores the ease of use of the iPod Touch in foreign language acquisition and the ability of this small high-tech device to potentially turn any place (both in and outside the classroom) rapidly into a persistent, easily available and always accessible language lab. Digital realia, which are in a variety of media in the target language and originate from the target culture, are easily available on the Web. The paper focuses on the advantages of the iPod Touch technology over standard computer and language lab use. The paper will also give a review of the types of digital realia and the specific applications that produce the best results.

Keywords: Foreign Language and Culture, Second Language Acquisition, Computer Assisted Instruction, Computer Assisted Language Learning, CALL, iPod, Language Lab, Realia, TESOL

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp.81-90. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 716.598KB).

Dr. Simone Bregni

Associate Professor of Italian / Coordinator, Italian Division, Department of Modern & Classical Languages, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO, USA

Dr. Simone Bregni has a Ph.D. in Italian from the University of Connecticut that he received in 2001, and he received his Laurea in Lettere, Bachelor of Arts degree, from Universita’ di Torino, The University of Torino, in 1991. Dr. Bregni is an Associate Professor of Italian and is the Director of the Italian Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences at Saint Louis University. He serves as technical consultant for the Language Learning Center of the Department of Modern & Classical Languages and is member of the Technology Committee in the College of Arts and Sciences. His main research interests include: Dante and the Classical Tradition, Renaissance Theater. He has publications in second-language acquisition which include: Bregni, Simone. 2004. “In Praise of the Revolution: Using Napster-like Software to Teach Italian Language and Culture.” Italian Cultural Studies 2001: 1–12. Bregni, Simone. 2006. “Enhancing Language & Culture Learning through P2P.” Academic Exchange Quarterly March 2006: 33–37.