Mobile-Assisted Language Learning: How Gamification Improves the Learning Experience

  • Izabel Rego de AndradeEmail author
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The learning process can be improved through the incorporation of evolving information and communication technologies. But it is not enough to use cutting-edge technology in teaching. The focus must be in promoting the development of skills that traditional teaching cannot adequately address. In this way, mobile devices, particularly smartphones and tablets, present exciting opportunities. These devices, largely used by students, allow access to information in a ubiquitous way – anytime, anywhere. This ubiquity, aligned with other mobile learning features – such as high memory capacity, built-in video cameras, voice recording capabilities, and geolocation capabilities, among others – addresses several foreign language learning needs, in the modality known as mobile-assisted language learning. Recently, games have been studied in a systematic way, where game elements are extracted and applied in different situations. In educational context, game strategies – known as gamification – are often used to enrich the student experience, fueling motivation and promoting meaningful learning. To achieve the best results, it is important for the teacher, or other learning experience designer, to be knowledgeable of gamification elements and their application when creating mobile-assisted language learning activities. This paper highlights the main elements of gamification that can be exploited for teaching languages, and it examines three experiences of language teaching through mobile learning. It also analyzes how these experiences exploit gamification strategies to promote student engagement in the learning process. Understanding how gamification strategies improve student learning in these experiences is important in the advancement of pedagogical and technological research of mobile-assisted language learning.


Mobile learning Gamification Mobile-assisted language learning Language learning Language teaching 


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Campinas State University (Unicamp) – CampinasSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Education ManagementServiço Nacional de Aprendizagem Industrial (SENAI-SP)São PauloBrazil

Section editors and affiliations

  • Raeal J. Moore
    • 1
  1. 1.Research DivisionACT, IncIowa CityUSA

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