Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) Activity Ideas for an EFL Classroom

Mobile assisted language learning brings a lot of opportunities for the teachers to try out new thing and learning approaches that would either be problematic or counter-productive without the latest technologies of MALL, also the issue of price-per-device comes in which is a huge issue for any teacher that wants to try out but the setting or school does not allow it.

Mobile assisted language learning is most notable for its effects on vocabulary learning and its retention, according to new studies. Thus an activity implementing MALL is easy to design for any level or age (assuming their old enough to own mobile devices).

A fun activity that I would try out with young or teenage learners at beginner or elementary level is the following:

At the end of the term/semester, just before the exam/midterm or progress test you might want your students to revise the vocabulary they learnt during the term, as you may not want to go back to it next term.

  1. For this purpose, make a list of student’s names, next to it, make another list of all the topics of vocabulary you’ve covered (the ones you want them to revise, food, spelled numbers, colors, mood, clothes).
  2. Print the list for each student and hand it out as homework.
  3. Explain how to play the game.
  • The first person on the list sends a WhatsApp message to the second person on the list.
  • The message includes one word from the first topic
  • The second person, as soon as they receive the message, sends another message to the third person, including all of the previous words and adding their own.
  • As soon as there are no more words learnt from the topic, the student goes to the next one
  • WhatsApp allows messages of up to 6000 characters, so you can ask your students to go for a couple of rounds, or add in more topics as they go (Use group message for this).
  1. Make the first student send the first message right after you explain the task, this will serve as a model.
  2. Ask students to finish the first topic in class in case they don’t follow your instruction.