“With this mobile program you don’t have to write, you don’t have to use your pens and pencils, everything is there. So it’ s easy, you don’t need anything else. You also have this good listening voice you can repeat, again and again, and get the good tone. You don’t get this in real life, you know. You can’t ask a person to say something again and again until you have it, but I need this kind of practice so this is really helpful.”, Jiten, Youth Empowerment Student
Through this project, students of the Youth Empowerment Program have the opportunity to improve their English language skills alongside their daily English classes using an interactive mobile application. Students often find that, while they learn a great deal from using English in the classroom, there isn't anyone to help to practise their English at home. However, most students do have access to a mobile phone.
As part of a PhD programme at the Department of Education, Laura Hakimi has been researching and developing a mobile application that helps YEP students to practise, reinforce and extend the language they learn in the classroom. She has employed Anspear's online system to create vocabulary, spelling, reading, listening and grammar activities that align with (and go beyond) the classroom curriculum. The application works on Nokia and Android handsets, and when students don't have their own mobile, they can borrow one for the duration of the Youth Empowerment Program.
The research has indicated that students generally find the application helpful and engaging. While learning on a mobile isn't for everyone, it is a valuable experience for the YEP students, they have used it to build their confidence and have shared the mobile resources extensively with their family and friends.
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