1 Engelskstudiet, Kolding, Department of Language and Communication, Faculty of Humanities, SDU2 Department of Language and Communication, Faculty of Humanities, SDU3 Engelsk, Department of Language and Communication, Faculty of Humanities, SDU4 Engelskstudiet, Kolding, Department of Language and Communication, Faculty of Humanities, SDU
Mobile learning and high-profiling language education. The number of students learning a second or foreign language and participating in instruction in languages other than English has been in decline for some time. There seems to be such a general tendency across nations albeit for a variety of reasons idiosyncratic to the particular national conditions. This paper gives an account of a diversified national project designed to infuse foreign language learning classes in upper secondary schools in Denmark with renewed enthusiasm through systematically experimenting with the new media by taking advantage of the social side in their application. The aim has been to make language classes attractive and relevant and to highlight the attractiveness and fun in learning through web 2.0 and mobile units. The overall project was supported by the Danish ministry of education as well as the individual participating schools. The individual projects were selected through an application process and assessed before being allocated funds. The overall project as well as individual minor projects were monitored and assisted by a select group of researchers who through seminars and individual consultations helped guide the participating secondary school teachers. This paper is focused on results concerning motivation and the reported perception of the status of foreign language learning resulting from the participation in the experimental classes. The participating students have been surveyed on-line and individually to assess the effect of the projects on student motivation and autonomy. The investigation throws light on personal experiences as well as the generally perceived image and status of foreign language learning in upper secondary school. The results of the study are not fully analysed at the present time and any firm conclusions cannot be reached until further analyses have been carried out, but will be ready by the time of the conference. It is clear at this point that, the potential imbued in mobile learning and social media have given rise to a strengthening of student participation and engagement. The projects have had the side effect of invoking an interest in the new ways of teaching also among the teaching staff not directly involved in the project.