Karla Zavala Barreda | Apps for Learning: A software study analysis of mobile applications for language development in children

Apps for Learning

Karla Zavala Barreda | University of Amsterdam | Apps for Learning: A software study analysis of mobile applications for language development in children | overarching project: MSCA ITN Early Language Development in the Digital Age (e-LADDA)
https://www.ntnu.edu/e-ladda/ | Promotor: Stefania Milan | August 2020 – August 2023 | k.v.zavalabarreda[at]uva.nl

The project analyses the ecology and development of mobile apps for language development in typical and atypical children from the perspective of software designers and developers. Software ethnography, quantitative analysis and modelling, and interviews with software developers will be integrated to identify how notions and theories of language acquisition and development in early childhood are translated into mobile applications for the market.

The mixed-methods analysis aims to produce a nuanced, data-thick understanding of how mobile use mediates language learning in children in the digital age and the relation between linguistics expertise and app creation. Moreover, the research project will develop open-source tools for data analysis of software development and a compilation of best practices for apps designers and developers, outlining how apps should be designed to facilitate language development and learning.

As part of e-LADDA, this project (ESR-13) will contribute to the overarching goal of e-LADDA to determine whether the new and intuitive interactions afforded by digital media impact young children’s language development and language outcomes positively or adversely. Additionally, it will also provide insights that will aid the identification of the factors in both the technology itself and the communication channel that advance language learning and growth or may impede it.