Turning Smart Phones into an Advantage in Language Classes

Merve GOCMEN, School of Foreign Languages, Anadolu University, Turkey, ID LLCE2017-152;       Abstract: Many teachers tend to have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to mobile phones in the classrooms since they assume (unfortunately correctly most of the time) that the students are
using their mobile phones not to reach information that could be useful for their classes, but to check the updates on their social media accounts. However, living in the age of technology and teaching mostly digital natives (native speakers of the digital language of computers and social media as suggested by Marc Prensky) we need to admit that our students require a media-rich learning environment in order to hold their attention on a subject. This makes it
inevitable to see our students with their smart phones or tablets out in the classrooms, but mostly as distractors not facilitators. By changing the classroom dynamics, teachers can turn this ‘evil distractor’ into an effective tool for language learning, considering that countless features of smart phones make them valuable sources of knowledge and potentially profitable learning tools inside and outside the classrooms. This study provides some useful ideas about
how to change the classroom dynamics in order to benefit from the smart phones in language teaching classes. These ideas can be adapted to classes in different levels and different types of learning styles. 
Keywords : language teaching, smart phones, technology