Development of Application to Learn Spanish as a Second Language: Lessons Learned

  • Izabel Rego de Andrade
Living reference work entry


Learning a foreign language is a relevant demand in an increasingly globalized world. The dynamic routine of contemporary society and the ubiquitous situation of mobile devices increase the opportunities to learn foreign languages. However, the educational applications (apps) of foreign languages for mobile learning available nowadays are still not in accordance with the contemporary context and needs of learners. Research shows that it should contemplate multimodality (Kress and Van Leeuwen, Reading images: the grammar of visual design. Routledge, London, 2006), critical reading (Braga, Rev Latinoam Tecnología Educativa 9(2):63–76, 2010), situated learning (Cope and Kalantzis, Multiliteracies: Literacy learning and the design of social futures. Routledge, London, 2003), and the systemic-functional conception of communication (Halliday, Language as social semiotic. Edward Arnold, London, 1978), as presented in Andrade’s thesis (2017). To apply mobile digital technologies in relevant manners to the learning of foreign languages, it is important to pay attention to how these technologies are used in educational contexts. To propose a coherent alternative to the scenario of a contemporary language education, it was designed an application for learning Spanish as a foreign language by Brazilian university students called Vecindario. The technical development was carried out by a multidisciplinary team of researchers in the fields of applied linguistics and computer science. This study examines the main lessons learned in the design process, prototyping and validation with volunteers, with the intention to help future projects that intend to develop educational applications for learning foreign languages like this one.


Mobile-assisted language learning Spanish language learning Systemic-functional linguistics Mobile learning Multimodality 


  1. Andrade, I.R. 2017. Aprendizagem de língua assistida por dispositivos móveis (ALADIM): uma proposta alternativa para o ensino da língua espanhola. Doctoral thesis, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas.Google Scholar
  2. Bowles, M.A. 2010. The think-aloud controversy in second language research. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Braga, D.B. 2010. Aprendizagem reflexiva de leitura em língua estrangeira: Questões relativas à construção de materiais digitais para acesso independente, Cáceres. Revista Latinoamericana de Tecnología Educativa 9 (2): 63–76.Google Scholar
  4. Buckingham, D. 2008. Defining digital literacy: What do young people need to know about digital media? In Digital literacies: Concepts, policies and practices, ed. C. Lankshear and M. Knobel, 73–89. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  5. Cervantes, I. 2002. Marco común europeo de referencia para las lenguas: aprendizaje, enseñanza, evaluación. Accessed 21 Mar 2017.
  6. Cope, B., and M. Kalantzis, eds. 2003. Multiliteracies: Literacy learning and the design of social futures. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Facebook. 2017. Facebook. Accessed 21 Mar 2017.
  8. Filatro, A. 2004. Design Instrucional Contextualizado. São Paulo: Senac.Google Scholar
  9. Gardner, R.C. 1985. Social psychology, and second language learning: The role of attitudes and motivation. London: Edward Arnold.Google Scholar
  10. Gil, A.C. 2009. Estudo de caso. São Paulo: Atlas.Google Scholar
  11. Google Analytics. 2017. Google analytics. Accessed 21 Mar 2017.
  12. Halliday, M.A.K. 1978. Language as social semiotic. London: Edward Arnold.Google Scholar
  13. IBGE. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. 2016. Acesso à internet e à televisão e posse de telefone móvel celular para uso pessoal, 2014. Rio de Janeiro: IBGE.Google Scholar
  14. Kress, G., and T. Van Leeuwen. 2006. Reading images: The grammar of visual design. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kukulska-Hulme, A., and L. Shield. 2008. An overview of mobile assisted language learning: From content delivery to supported collaboration and interaction. In ReCALL, vol. 20, 271–289. New York.Google Scholar
  16. Moura, A.M.C. 2010. Apropriação do Telemóvel como Ferramenta de Mediação em Mobile learning: Estudos de Caso em Contexto Educativo. Doctoral thesis, Universidade do Minho, Braga.Google Scholar
  17. Sanz, C., H.J. Lin, B. Lado, H.W. Bowden, and C.A. Stafford. 2009. Concurrent verbalizations, pedagogical conditions, and reactivity: Two CALL studies. Language Learning 59: 33–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Trello. 2017. Trello. Accessed 21 Mar 2017.
  19. Von Saucken, C., I. Michailidou, and U. Lindemann. 2013. How to design experiences. In Macro UX versus micro UX approach, ed. A. Marcus, 130–139. DUXU/HCII, Las Vegas, Nevada.Google Scholar
  20. Youtube. 2017. Youtube. Accessed 21 Mar 2017.
  21. Whatsapp. 2017. Whatsapp. Accessed 21 Mar 2017.
  22. Zhang, Yu Aimee. 2015. Handbook of mobile teaching and learning. Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Education ManagementServiço Nacional de Aprendizagem Industrial (SENAI-SP)SPBrazil

Section editors and affiliations

  • Jun Hu
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering and Information SciencesUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia

Personalised recommendations