A scrutiny of the educational value of EFL mobile learning applications
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Abstract Mobile learning is without any doubt the next step in the evolution of educational technology as it offers modern methods of support to the process of learning through the use of mobile instruments. However, although there are a huge number of educational applications in the market at the moment, the educational value of many of them is rather questionable. The final aim of the SO-CALL-ME ((Social Ontology-based Cognitively Augmented Language Learning Mobile Environment) (FFI 2011-29829) research project is to design and create EFL mobile applications that successfully combine technical skills and a solid pedagogy. In this light, the present study is the third phase of a line of research which started in 2012. In the first phase 67 MALL applications in the context of EFL were assessed by means of a rubric not on their technical features but on their pedagogic goals. The results gave us an idea of the qualities and limitations of the apps examined. In the second phase, a quality guide was created as the basis for a more elaborate evaluation rubric. Out of the EFL apps previously analyzed with the first rubric, we chose four that fulfilled the features considered most important for the apps to be developed in a final stage of the research project. In the third phase, a rubric was used to evaluate the linguistic adequacy of EFL apps for listening. The present study offers the evaluation of a higher number of apps using the rubrics created in phases 2 and 3 in order to corroborate the first impressions as a final step before using the quality guide for the creation of EFL applications.