Mobile phones & language (RE: ETS and Nokia to Create New Ways of Learning English)

Don Osborn dzo at
Sun Apr 12 13:35:35 UTC 2009

Cellphones and other mobile technology can be and is (being) localized in
various languages such that not only commands are in diverse languges and
scripts, but one can text in those languages and there is even predictive
text for many of them.

This piece about using the technology for language learning brings up an
area that is not so new but is obviously being developed to higher levels
(at least for English). A couple of years ago I heard about a concept for
using cellphones for learning LCTLs, and specifically Yoruba, from Kole
Odutola at U. Florida. Not sure where that proposal is at the moment, but
the concept could be used in many ways to assist learners of diverse
languages - whether a second/additional language or even improving skills in
a language they already speak (maybe even literacy?).

However, I am particularly interested in how mobile phones with a minimum of
smarts (as in affordable smart phones, if that is not still an oxymoron) can
be used in gathering linguistic data for HLT while involving individuals and
communities in language revitalization efforts.

Relating this to the list topic: I do believe that rapidly evolving
information and communications technologies can, by their capacity for
handling languages and our attention to exploiting them, help change the
bases for discussion about language policy, planning, learning, survival,
etc., and the potential that those discussions in turn hold for enhancing
learning, cultural vitality, and improving life for the less advantaged.
(Sorry if that sounds too grandiose, but the dream is there.) Mobile
technology has been expanding rapidly even in countries and regions with
lower income levels and seems to hold particular promise.


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-lgpolicy-list at
[mailto:owner-lgpolicy-list at] On Behalf Of Harold
Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 9:41 AM
To: lp
Subject: ETS and Nokia to Create New Ways of Learning English

ETS and Nokia to Create New Ways of Learning English

Posted 16 December 2008 @ 10:40 am EST

PRINCETON, NJ -- (Marketwire) -- 12/16/08 -- Educational Testing
Service (ETS), makers ofthe TOEFL(R) (Test of English as a Foreign
Language(TM)) and TOEIC(R) (Testof English for International
Communication(TM)) tests, joined with Nokiatoday to launch English
learning courses specially designed for Nokia phoneusers in China.
Designed by ETS teaching and testing experts, the courses
arecomprehensive, useful and easy-to-learn. They contain English
tests,business English and survival English packages. Nokia phone
users candownload the courses through Nokia's Mobiledu to enjoy an
enriched Englishlearning experience.

The courses available include TOEFL-type practice questions,
TOEIC-typepractice questions, functional learning (including business
English,survival English and academic English) and American English
phonology.Whether users intend to study abroad or get better career
development, thecourses will meet their requirements. Mobiledu offers
users the opportunity to learn English inexpensively, ontheir own time
and even on the move. Users who study ETS content throughMobiledu can
obtain scientific and systematic learning materials andmethods, which
are more convenient, effective, targeted and comprehensivethan those
users might search for on the Internet.

"Nokia Mobiledu brings users a truly seamless English learning
experienceby integrating learning with life; learning English on the
go, anywhere andanytime. I believe Mobiledu will help English learners
realize theirdreams," said Angela Long, Nokia Sales and Marketing
Manager "Mobiledu is Nokia's new mobile Internet
service, as well asthe first interactive online mobile learning
platform in the industry. Itis committed to collaborating with China
and globally renowned publishersand others in the education sector to
introduce good educational productsand services to users in an easy
and innovative way, making it possible tolearn on the go

"ETS is a world-recognized educational research and
assessmentorganization. This collaboration between Nokia and ETS is
based on thecommon goal we share. We are both committed to integrating
learning intoour daily life more innovatively. The collaboration is
mutually successfuland we will continue exploring innovative
communication methods for China'sever-increasing English learners,"
Long added. "Bringing benefits to consumers is our shared objective,"
said ETS VicePresident Charles Cascio. "Nokia is a promoter of the
global mobileInternet, while ETS is a world-leading provider of
English-languagelearning products and services. The collaboration will
enable users to takeadvantage of mobile communication and Internet
integration to enjoy a richand personalized English learning
experience anywhere and anytime."

About ETS

At nonprofit ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for
peopleworldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research.
ETS servesindividuals, educational institutions and government
agencies by providingcustomized solutions for teacher certification,
English-language learning,and elementary, secondary and post-secondary
education, as well asconducting education research, analysis and
policy studies. Founded in1947, ETS develops, administers and scores
more than 50 million testsannually -- including the TOEFL(R) and
TOEIC(R) tests, the GRE(R) test andThe Praxis Series(TM) assessments
-- in more than 180 countries, at over9,000 locations worldwide.

About Nokia

Nokia is the world leader in mobility, driving the transformation
andgrowth of the converging Internet and communications industries. We
make awide range of mobile devices with services and software that
enable peopleto experience music, navigation, video, television,
imaging, games,business mobility and more. Developing and growing our
offering of consumerInternet services, as well as our enterprise
solutions and software, is akey area of focus for Nokia. We also
provide equipment, solutions andservices for communications networks
through Nokia Siemens Networks.

As Nokia's largest single market, China is playing an
increasinglyimportant role in Nokia's R&D and production. In China,
Nokia is committedto enhancing the communication experience of local
users and helping themcreate new ways of sharing. Starting from youth
education & development andenvironmental protection, Nokia initiates
and proactively takes part invarious sustainable, long-term public
welfare programs in an effort tobecome one of China's best corporate

Contact:Jason Baran609-683-2428jbaran at ets.orgNokia Inquiries:Ms.
Cherry GongCommunications ManagerNokia (China) Investment Co., LtdTel:
021-63350500Fax: 021-63330002Ms. Zhao JiaCommunications AssistantNokia
(China) Investment Co.,LtdTel: 010-87118888Fax: 010-87114468

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