Exploration of Using MALL to Help English Learners in China Overcome Foreign Language Anxiety and Improve Their English Communicative Competence

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  • Driven by globalization, a vast population in China is studying English. English training has become a multimillion-dollar industry not only for public schools and universities but also for private language training schools and individuals (Bolton, 2002). However, the traditional English teaching methods have produced results that are not satisfactory. For example, the term “dumb English” was created to describe Chinese learners’ low English communicative competence in the 1980s and 1990s (Hu, 1988; Weng, 1996). In addition to producing low communicative competence, the traditional methods in China have also resulted in foreign language anxiety (FLA). Therefore, it is necessary to consider other teaching methods and tools.
    Combining the characteristics of today's’ learners who are heavily dependent on mobile devices with research on using mobile devices in language teaching, I explore the potential of integrating Mobile-assisted-language-learning (MALL) in English teaching to improve communicative competence while also addressing FLA. In this paper, I will present a literature review focusing on the following key areas. First, I review the literature on current English teaching issues in China (i.e. Foreign Language Anxiety and low communicative competence). Then, I present previous research about MALL, analyzing its effectiveness in English teaching. Next, I explore the connections between the effectiveness of MALL, FLA and Communicative Competence. Finally, I synthesize these areas by discussing the potential of MALL in overcoming FLA and the low communicative competence.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International