An Investigation Into the Impact of Shortened Texting on Muslim Learners’ Correspondence Ability

Document Type: Research Article

Authors

Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz

Abstract

High penetrability of wireless, mobile, portable, and handheld devices has resulted
in education for all as the mobile’s challenge coincides with an unprecedented
growth in access to pedagogical materials technology, particularly in developing
countries (UNESCO Mobile Learning Week Report, 2011). The present study set
out to discover how Muslim learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) are
encouraged to think about and learn the Islamic instructions—as an integral part of
their native culture—in TL by incorporating communicative skills through the
pedagogically mediated application of cell-phone. The user groups of interest were
218 Iranian second-year male and female students of translation studies at Payame
Noor University, from age range of 21-24, homogenized as upper-intermediate
through conducting Nelson English language proficiency test, level 400 A. They
were spread randomly across 109 dyads to learn technology-enhanced materials in
36 nonformal sessions. To equip the Muslim learners with lifelong linguistic and
social knowledge for constructing conversational bridges for full participation in
civic life at international level, abbreviated letter writing notes were already adapted
to the cell-phone screen to be accessed by the learners via the SMS application. The
final application was given to the participants for actual use and evaluation for a
period of 1 academic semester. After the students had finished learning didactic
messages, interactive SMS quizzes were sent to evaluate their performance. The
analysis suggested that significant gains occurred as a result of mobile-based
representation of shortened Islamic contents in English which was congruent with
the learners’ favorable attitude towards embracing brevity for lifelong learning of
TL contents via SMS.

Keywords