Benefits of using a mobile application in learning a foreign language

  • Judith Bustillo Universidad Santiago de Cali
  • Claribel Rivera Universidad Santiago de Cali
  • Juan Genaro Guzmán Universidad Santiago de Cali
  • Lizeth Ramos Acosta Universidad Santiago de Cali
Keywords: Gamification, learning, hearing competition, English.


This article aims to show how the use of a mobile application contributes to the development of listening comprehension in English as a teaching strategy to generate significant learning. The research was conducted with a group of level A1 students, according to Common European Framework for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment, who used Duolingo during an academic semester. The results indicate that the use of this application achieves a positive impact on the development of listening skills in English.

Author Biographies

Judith Bustillo, Universidad Santiago de Cali
BA on Modern Languages from the Universidad Santiago de Cali (Colombia) and with a Technical degree in Junior High School Education of the Corporación Instituto de Artes y Ciencias (Barranquilla, Colombia)
Claribel Rivera, Universidad Santiago de Cali

BA on Foreign Languages English-French and Specialist in the Teaching of English from the Universidad Santiago de Cali (Colombia) 

Juan Genaro Guzmán, Universidad Santiago de Cali

BA on Foreign Languages English-French and Specialist in Teaching of English from the Universidad Santiago de Cali (Colombia) 

Lizeth Ramos Acosta, Universidad Santiago de Cali

BA on Modern Languages from the Universidad del Valle (Cali, Colombia); Specialist in Teaching for Higher Education and Master in Higher Education from the Universidad Santiago de Cali. Coauthor of “In Context” books. Teacher and Director of the Specialization in the Learning of English at the Universidad Santiago de Cali, with seventeen years of experience in university teaching 


Abadía, I. (2012). Juegos serios para televisión digital interactiva: revisión de literatura y definiciones. Sistemas & Telemática, 10(22), 149-157. doi:10.18046/syt.v10i22.1270

Borrero, F., Sanjuán, P., & Ramírez, G. (2015). Técnicas de gamificación en el turismo, prueba de aplicación, Casa Museo Mosquera. Sistemas & Telemática, 13(33), 63-76. doi:10.18046/syt.v13i33.2081

Brown, D. (1994). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy [2nd ed.]. London, UK: Longman.

Deterding, S., Dixon, D., Khaled, R., & Nacke, L. (2011a). From game design elements to gamefulness: defining gamification. In Proceedings of the 15th international academic MindTrek conference: Envisioning future media environments (pp. 9-15). New York, NY: ACM.

Deterding, S., Sicart, M., Nacke, L., O'Hara, K., & Dixon, D. (2011b). Gamification: Using game-design elements in non-gaming contexts. In CHI'11 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 2425-2428). New York, NY: ACM.

European Council. (2001). Common European framework for languages: Learning, teaching, assessment. Strasbourg, France: Council for Cultural Cooperation.

Glover, I. (2013). Play as you learn: Gamification as a technique for motivating learners. In: Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2013. Chesapeake, VA, AACE.

Goh, C. C. (2000). A cognitive perspective on language learners’ listening comprehension problems. System, 28, 55-75. doi:10.1016/S0346-251X(99)00060-3

Gómez, C. & Lazo, C. (2015). Modelo de integración educomunicativa de “apps” móviles para la enseñanza y aprendizaje. Revista de Medios y Educación, 46, 137-153.

González, H. (2015). La integración de la tecnología como herramienta significativa en la enseñanza de inglés como lengua extranjera. Revista Horizontes Pedagógicos, 17(1), 53-66.

Jordan, P. (2012). Games and learning: Gamification in formal educational settings. Retrieved from:

Jung, H. (2015). Fostering an English teaching environment: Factors influencing English as a foreign language teacher’s adoption of mobile learning. Informatics in Education, 14(2), 219-241.

López, F. & Silva, M. (2013). Factores que inciden en la aceptación de los dispositivos móviles para el aprendizaje en educación superior. Estudios sobre Educación, 30, 175-195.

Orozco, A.M., Baeza, D., Navarro, A., & Llano, G. (2012). Del videojuego a la realidad: sistema interactivo para la seguridad vial. Sistemas & Telemática, 10(22), 37-50. doi: 10.18046/syt.v10i22.1259.

Rahimi, M. & Soleymani, E. (2015). The impact of mobile learning on listening anxiety and listening comprehension. English Language Teaching, 8(10), 152-161.

Ramos, L. & Valderruten, A (2014). Beneficios del uso de tecnologías inalámbricas de respuesta en exámenes de inglés. [Con]textos, 3(12), 45-54. doi: 10.21774/ctx.v3i12.477

Richards, J. (1983). Listening comprehension: Approach, design, procedure. TESOL Quarterly, 17(2), 219-240.

Richards, J., Cory-Wright, K., & Pianco, S. (2005). Interchange intro teachers’ resource book [3rd ed.]. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Rollings, A. & Adams, E. (2003). On game design. Indianapolis, IN: New Riders.

Rosell-Aguilar, F. (2007). Top of the pods-in search of a podcasting “Pedagogy” for language learning. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 20, 471-492. doi:10.1080/09588220701746047

Smith- Robbins (2011). This game sucks: How to improve the gamification of education. Educause Review, 46(1), 58-59.

Vandergrift, L. (1997). The comprehension strategies of second language (French) listeners: A descriptive study. Foreign Language Annals, 30(3), 387-409. doi:10.1111/j.1944-9720.1997.tb02362.x

Vandergrift, L. (2004). Listening to learn or learning to listen? Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 24, 3-25. doi:10.1017/S0267190504000017

Vandergrift, L., (2002). Listening: Theory and practice in modern foreign language competence. Retrieved from:

von Ahn, L. (2011). Utilizando el poder de millones de mentes humanas [video: TED Rio de la Plata, 2011]. Retrieved from:
Discussion papers