Japanese CALL Web Tools: Identifying and Evaluating their Multimedia Behaviour in Android OS

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Dec 10, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)

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Japanese

CALL

Web
Tools
:

Identify
ing

and
Evaluat
ing

their
Multimedia
Behaviour
in

Android

OS



Juvane Nunes

Marciano, Leonardo Cunha de Miranda, Erica Esteves Cunha de Miranda

Department of Informatics and Applied Mathematics

Federal University of Rio Gran
de do Norte (UFRN)

Natal, RN, 59078
-
970, Brazil

juvane@ppgsc.
ufrn.br, leonardo@dimap
.ufrn.br, erica@dimap.ufrn.br



Abstract
:

The use of computational tools to support language learning is growing
increasingly, mainly because of its practicity and compleme
nt it adds to traditional learning.

These kind of tools are called, in the literature,
Computer Assisted
Language
Learning

(CALL)
.
Even though there are many different CALL
t
ools
developed at the academy, to
support
Japanese

language learning, it is known
that,
daily, they are not the ones that are in
fact broadly used by the students of this language. On the other side, there is the growing
presence of mobile devices in our society, with various purposes of use, including educational

intention
.

In this con
text, this paper presents the results of a
study

of CALL Web
t
ools
developed to support
Japanese

language learning, that ones being largely broadcast by the
Internet and used by foreign students of
Japanese

all around the world.
Still, to add value to
th
is

work, a
case
study about the media used by these tools is presented, with the intention to
evaluate the behaviour of multimedia when used in mobile devices with the Android OS.



Introduction


Japanese language uses three different writing systems, i.e.,
kanji, kana (hiragana and katakana) and
roma
-
ji.
Kanji

are
Japanese

ideograms brought and adapted from China
, and the
Japanese

kanji
ha
s two kinds
of
reading (pronounce), i.e., on
-
yomi (Chinese reading) and kun
-
yomi (attached to the kanji when it arrived i
n
Japan) and still, they can have several “on” and “kun” readings.
Kana
are two syllabic alphabets (s
y
llabaries)
auxiliary to the language;
hiragana
is used to write words whose kanji is rare or does not exist, as for
greetings,
adjectives, verb endings, a
nd also as
furigana

(also called yomigana or rubi), that is a little subtitle insert beside
a kanji to reveal its reading, usually when the kanji is rare.

Katakana
, on the other hand, is used to adapt foreign
words and names

to
Japanese

idiom,
as for e
m
pha
sis of words.

Roma
-
ji

is

the Roman alphabet, used in most
languages in the world, including
Portuguese
, but in Japan is barely used (e.g., public location indications and
abbreviations
)
.


Because of the peculiarities described above,
Japanese

language lear
ning is, itself, a huge challenge,
specially for foreign students that are not conversant to its writing system. On the other side, the
re

is a hardship
in access good
Japanese

school/course, as

well as

the longstanding courses with
far
-
between

classes.
Nev
ertheless, with the improvement of the Internet and the ease of access to “computers” that has occur more
and more, students were able to see a new way to review content to support their traditional course, or even
study topics of interest by themselves. I
n this context, language learning

(LL)

supported by computers and
Internet became very popular, using softwares developed specially for t
his, as utilization of online
fo
rums

for
students all around the world to share knowledge and experiences.
This
kind
of

study is called Computer
Assisted Language Learning (CALL).

CALL studies and
their

association to
Japanese

language
h
a
ve

already been explored by some authors,
as
Landreth

(
2010)
,
Matsushita
et al.

(2009)

and

Librenjak

et al.

(2012)
.
Despite the importanc
e of these works
for the subject
-
matter
, it is also known that outside the academic literature there are several computational tools
created with the same purpose too, that is, support
LL

in general. These tools are, mostly, the resources that are
really u
sed by the large public of
Japanese

language students. So, it is our target point to actually know what are
them and
what are the features that make

them different from the ones found at

academy.
Still, we see the rise of
using mobile devices (e.g., smartp
hones and tablets), and with it the increasing success of Android OS, which is
nowadays the most popular mobile system in the world, in addition to be
a
n open system and also pretty
accessible, c
ompared to others in the present market.

All these factors do

motivate

us to accomplish a

study


about the possibility of using, in Android OS,

the CALL Web
t
ools
for
Japanese

most used by the students,
evaluating its advantages and drawbacks of this direct portability, from a multimedia view
point
, being it a very
ut
ilized and useful appeal in this kind of educational resource.

In a previous work, we identified the State of the Art of the subject
-
matter by the scientific
literature,
which

presents computational solutions developed to support
Japanese

LL

(Marciano
et a
l.
, 2012)
.

In a different
way, the aim of this work is to identify

computational tools focused on support of
LL

that came not from the
academic environment, but from the practical
; in
the context of
our
research project
,

this

is
called State of the
Practic
e
.

The State of the Practice
t
ools
are usually found in Web and are
broadcast by search and disclose from
the students themselves, at blogs, sites and virtual communities focused on
Japanese

LL
, and there are even tools

developed by the stude
nts to help th
eir learning proc
ess.

The
t
ools
are used both by self
-
taught as by students searching for
extra

support to the
LL
.
These
applications usually offer
easy access and interfaces that ease use and learning, making them more popular than
the academic ones. It i
s
known

that for the
realization

of a
study
about CALL for
Japanese

language, it is
fundamental to
traverse the related academic

solutions
, t
hat we have done in
Marciano
et al.

(2012)
.
However,
we should not leave aside the tools that are really used by st
udents in practice
,
namely
, the tools that compose
the State of the Practice of the subject. In this work, we focus on the study of CALL Web
tools
.

This paper is organized as follows: next section, we contextualize Computer Assisted Language
Learning; afte
r that, we expose the methodology used to fulfill the work, and then we present the results; the
following section we discuss the results focused on multimedia

perspective
, and, lastly, we present the
conclusion
s
.


Computer Assisted Language Learning



Ove
r the last decades, many studies

were made about the advantages of using Computer Assisted
Language Learning (CALL). Being CALL
tools
, basically, tools that help and ease
LL
, supporting
traditional
learning (blended learning); and offering ways for the stu
dent
s

to have autonomy in
their
study (autodidact).
These tools are different by the mechanisms used, the interfaces, resources available, by the fact that they
favor

some specific skills needed for language
proficiency
.
Now, we present some works and exam
ples of results of
CALL application, for an overview about using this kind of resource
.

Mc
l
oughlin
et al.

(2002)
, for example, made a study willing to demonstrate the enrichment

brought to
LL

by the use of technology and CALL, and still, present as results

the advantages of this approach about
traditional learning.
To perform the study, the authors selected, between
Australian

students of French,
three
groups as follows: i)

internal students on campus who follow traditional teaching with classroom taught by

teachers; ii) distance learners, who occasionally have classroom;

and iii) students who have no personal contact
whatsoever with teachers and study entirely by mail, using a method multimedia called French in Action,
developed at Yale University
.

Initial
tests were performed in 1992 and 1993, and both showed that the group
(iii) apparently in more disadvantage, gave results significantly better than the other two groups
, i.e.,
(i) and (ii),
h
owever, these studies did not generate concrete statistical data
.

Years later, in 1996, was experienced
to
introduce French in Action in studies of groups (i) and (ii) due to the positive feedback regarding them in
previous years, and a new study was carried out in detail this time, generating well
analyzable

statistica
l data
.

Again students study only by mail outperformed the other two groups, but with a negligible difference this time,
which suggests that the use of the method/system works well for a variety of contexts, and that the evidence that
learning supported by

computer brings improvements is strong, and that students who study by this method feel
more motivated and
better understand the content
.

Another interesting study is that of Joseph and Uther (2006), where they discuss the benefits brought by
the use of m
obile technologies for learning foreign languages
, showing the possibility of using many resources
such as images, audio and interaction/cooperation with other students. It also explores the blend and
complement the behavioral and constructivist approach
es in language teaching.

First, the authors discuss the use
of visual media, explaining that its use



at the time


is limited due to mobile devices have little storage
capacity and processing, however, that won this barrier, are of great help as the huma
ns learn a language
accumulating many visual experiences, as well as noise; for then, the
paper

demonstrate that the audio features
can be used for various purposes, such

as
, guide, broker and pronunciation modeler, comprehension and
retention of phonemes,

conversation practice and fluency in the language, speaking after the barriers that must
be overcome, such as quality of audio input and output and/for use by speech recognizers, and the size and
format of the files, which should be compatible with the de
vice in question.



On the other hand, Kremenska (2007) conducted a
study

on how a course with CALL resources can
help in traditional study and motivation of language students
,

and detect which of
its

factors may be enemies in
order to demotivate them or tak
e the focus
of

learning

based on feedback from students.

The author developed
an experimental course design, in which there are the steps: i) first to test the level of students; ii) then apply two
programs with the same goals and content, but with differe
nt approaches
-

one based on CALL and the other
not; iii) collect results on improved know
ledge about student motivation;

iv) process the collected data; v)
analyze the data statistically; and vi) completion report on the motivational role of the programs
of study
.

The
author details the steps above, dividing them into three stages, in which expands the explanation of what is being
done at each step; at the end of it all, the most important is to detect the points that motivate or discourage
students the mo
st.

Lam
et al.

(2008)

evaluate the level of acceptance and support provided by e
-
learning systems with the
use of blended learning, i
.
e
.
, a mix between traditional teaching and e
-
learning.

The survey was conducted by
evaluating an e
-
course with Japanese st
udents invited to test it and answer an evaluation questionnaire, with
scores of 1 to 4, 4 being the best score.

About the program as a whole, and its usefulness for learning, the
evaluation showed it had an acceptance

good


(score 3)/

great


(score 4) in

95% of users trials, being 48%
good, none of the sections of the application received score 1, i.e., bad.

The authors conclude that e
-
learning
systems is an important tool to aid the traditional teaching, making it more efficient and enjoyable for the
stu
dent, especially when it comes to
LL
, supported by the evaluation of the system, which showed itself as
important from the standpoint of students, reaching more than 90% in general acceptance.

Also, they explain
that this kind of system can help students w
ith different learning rhythms because of the freedom of
programming and repetition of content. The authors emphasize that students feel quite interested by sections
containing multimedia elements and online interaction.

Han
et al
.

(2011)
,
focuses on a gen
eral theoretical view on the subject, addressing points as modes of
applicability, concept and advantages of using CALL, justifying that the increase in technology in general makes
CALL be provided with better resources related to quality and diversity, su
ch as multimedia, Web services,
sharing information and learning with people around the world.

They also explain that teaching with the use of
CALL can be considered
gainful

when combined with traditional school methods, and also provide a more
personalize
d teaching/learning.
Tiwari
et al.

(2011)
,
also shed light on some advantages of CALL, such as:
flexibility when preparing lesson plans and courses; individualization/independence of the student who has the
freedom to determine when to start and stop times

of study; immediate feedback provided by the CALL
-
based
tools, good error analysis, helping both the student and the teacher to identify the difficulties in learning;
practice sessions with the use of multimedia, and which the student can carry as many ti
mes as necessary.

Seeing the advantages of using CALL, defended and certified by several authors, like the ones referred
above,
in the next sections we present methodology, results of the performed work focused on identify and
evaluate the State of the Pra
ctice Tools of the subject: CALL Web Tools to support learning, specifically, of
Japanese language.
The choose for deepen the study of Web tools is due to
the accessibility factor, since most of
them is easy to access and do not need do install, being able

to be accessed from various places, moreover
, most
of them offer free content in full
.


Met
h
odology



The
c
ase
s
tudy
was performed in two steps: i) identification

of Web tools

of the State of the Practice;
and ii)
evaluation of the identified tools with f
ocus in placing the problems that occurred in medias outside the
environment they were developed to (PC desktop browser)
.

We underline we do not present in an
exhaustive

manner the tools

available in the market, whereas during the

development of this work,

we found a really
expressive number of these kind of tools; since our focus is not to list them, but in the identification of the most
used resources and the possibility of portability to a mobile platform, in this case, Android OS
.


For the accomplishmen
t of this work
, we understand the term “multimedia” according to the definition
made by
Fluckiger (1995)
.

To this author, multimedia appoints the combination, controlled by computer, of text,
graphics, image, video, audio, animations, and any other way whe
reby the information can be represented,
stored, transmitted and processed digitally, in which there is at least one kind of static media


e.g., text,
graphics
,

or image


and one of dynamic media


i.e., video, audio
,

or animations.
Along the paper it is

described if the explored tool is available in Brazilian Portuguese language (PT
-
BR), since this identification is
relevant to our research project context. Still, it is important to clarify that, in this work’s context, “input” are the


medias who can be
given as an entry by the user; and “output” is the way content is presented to the user by the
application
.

We proceed documenting its main functionalities,
access availability to
PT
-
BR
, and utilized medias,
observed in its original environment


the one t
hat each tool was developed to


and evaluate them in a mobile
Android environment, to verify how they behave


if they work completely, partly or do not work


with a view
from the identified medias for each one, in other words, we evaluate the behavior o
f the medias at the proposed
environment


if and how they were affected when run in this environment
, the handicaps found and possible
solutions for them
.

The specifications of the device used in the tests are:
Android OS v4.1


Jelly Bean (API
Level 16),

CPU ARM,
screen

size
7’’,
with

Adobe Flash Player
to

Android v.11.0.1.153
.

The study to evaluate the
behavior

changes
of the present medias in each tool was performed adopting
the five following stages: i) 30 exploratory minutes at the original tool envir
onment; ii) selection of three tasks;
iii) execution of the selected tasks in the original environment, i.e.,

a conventional PC desktop browser; iv)
execution of the same tasks in Android environment, i.e., Android’s default browser; and v) comparison of
b
ehavior between original and Android environment, under a multimedia
perspective
.


Results



In the process of identifying the tools for the tests to be conducted
in
this study, we found a significant
number of CALL Web Tools focused on Japanese.

However,
for the selection of the tools that would be
evaluated in detail here, we consider two main points: i) the most widespread
tools

among students ii) as well as
those that make use of multiple media types.

Several tools were left out of this review, but our
focus is not to
provide an exhaustive list and description of tests, but rather evaluate the possibility and difficulties of using
such tools and media in a
n

Android
mobile environment.

The tools identified were classified according to the
verbal language
skills they serve



i.e., reading, writing, speaking
,

and listening


and also the tool availability

into Brazilian Portuguese.

Still, we show the results of tests conducted in Android environment proposed, with
all the tools

that

have not been developed f
or this platform, as described below. From now on, we will present
the selected tools and reports about its features and also its use in the Android environment.


Ajax
を使った手書き文字認識

(
handwriting recognition using Ajax)
1

is a web tool that performs
recognition of kanji and kanas from a drawing done by clicking on an area of the site itself.
As the user draws, it

shows possible kanji by the side. By finding the kanji you wan
t, you can click on it and this is placed in a text
box to be copied by the user.

Ajax does not recognize kanji/kanas written in the incorrect order of strokes (if this

occurs, the suggestion of the application is made over the order and number of strokes
than shape drawn by
itself).

Ajax is focused on the study of writing, and uses the media image to input an
d

text to output.
On

Android,
Ajax did not succeed
, because even when you select the area to scan the drawing/character, you cannot
make a stroke with

click and drag,
like

it is done on the Web by a PC desktop.

A tool is similar to Ajax is
Handwritten Kanji Recognition

(HKR)
2
,
but does not recognize kanas, only
kanji.

In HKR, for each designed stroke, a small number is printed on the spot where it began

to be drawn,
indicating the number of strokes made
so far (you can disable this option).

Moreover, HKR has more options for
how the input should be recognized, and redirects the user to a page with information of the recognized/selected
kanji
.

The study

of writing is the focus of HKR, which uses media image for input and text for output. About the
test in the
Android

environment, the same problem of the tool Ajax was presented.

Like Ajax and HKR, the online tool

uPal
3

allows recognition of
kanji through
drawings made
with the
mouse.

After detected the kanji, you can select it to turn into text and then use it. In addition this tool provides
the option to display information about the kanji, for example, showing

on


and

kun


readings, meaning in
Englis
h and animated stroke order.

It recognizes to some extent, kanji written in the wrong stroke order. uPal
focuses on the study of writing and reading, and uses the media text and image to input and output.

When you
access it from the Android browser, a redi
rect is performed to a special page for mobile and, unlike his fellow
Ajax and HKR, uPal works well on the device, but it is slightly harder to get precision in writing.

Another tested tool is
Denshi Jisho
4
,
which is an online
Japanese
dictionary to conduc
t searches for
sentences, words or kanji, in Japanese (kanji, kana
,

or roma
-
ji) and in English

(
to find the equivalent in



1

http://www.chasen.or
g/~taku/software/ajax/hwr/
.

2

http://kanji.sljfaq.org/draw
-
canvas.html.

3

http://www.sp.cis.iwate
-
u.ac.jp/icampus/u/edic.jsp.

4

http://www.jisho.org
.



Japanese
)
.

After the search is performed, it is possible to direct
for

example sentences using the search term, if
they are registered
, as well as details of the characters of the search.

On the characters detail page, you can see

on


and

kun


readings of each character, and the translation of each word into
Brazilian
Portuguese,

French,
Spanish and English, though, initially, the

page

shows up only in English.

I
t is also
available several

information
such as stroke order, with representations of drawings, radical, components, and presence
/
place
i
n Jouyou
Kanji
5
.

Denshi Jisho
’s main objective is the study of reading, and it uses the med
ia text to input and, text and
image to output.
I
t is possible to use normally the Denshi Jisho in the native Android browser.

Jiten
6

is a dictionary similar to Denshi Jisho but more simple in detailing regarding the kanji, the more,
they share the same co
ncept. Jiten is focused on the study of reading and uses the media text to input, and text
and image to output. The test was also successful in Android.
One more

dictionary is
WWWJDIC
7
,
which
features, besides the translation of Japanese words into English
, links to various information about the word
sought, and usage examples and audio pronunciation.

It is a site focused on learning reading and also covers
listening. Use the media text as input and text and audio as output. In the tests, it was possible to

access media
text normally, but the audio could not be played.

Still, as a dictionary type of tool, there is

Japanese Names
Dictionary (JND)
8
,
which presents the English translation of search words in Japanese, and shows representative
figures to that wor
d, for added
fixation. It

is focused on the teaching of reading through text media for input and,
text and image for output. Its behavior was not impaired on the Android device.

The Furiganizer
9

is a Web application in which a text can be placed in kanji,
and it applies through a
command, the furigana in the text provided. This application is focused on the study of reading, and media text
is used for input and output. The test on Android was satisfactory, indicating that it is possible to use The
Furiganiz
er in the browser of Android environment normally.

While the tools RealKana and RealKanji
10

are
Web tools to perform reading practice of, respectively, kanas and kanji
s
. The user can choose which set of
letters he wants to practice, and the fonts on which t
hey are presented (between different font styles:
conventiona
l or simulating handwritten).
In practice tab, it appears a certain symbol (RealKana) or word
(RealKanji) and the user must enter its reading in roma
-
ji correctly, then the application proceeds t
o another
symbol, if the answer is correct, or remains the same, showing a

x


indicating an error; the user can see the
answer by hovering over the kana/kanji.

Both applications aims at the study of reading, and use the media: text
for input and text and
image for output. RealKana site is available in
PT
-
BR
. The behavior of RealKana on test
environment was not successful, except when using an external keyboard, and not the mobile device touch.
RealKanji have not worked with any of the options, external key
board or touch.

The Ultra Handy Japanese Verb Conjugator (JVC)
11

allows the user to type
,

in roma
-
ji, a verb in its
infinitive (dictionary) form, and then returns the conjugated verb in: present indicative, presumptive, imperative,
past indicative, past pre
sumptive, provisional and conditional, with an informal and polite form for each one.

Being a Web page, it works well in Android browser.

Analogous to JVC, there is
Japanese Verb Deconjugator
(JVD)
12
,
however working in reverse, showing the infinitive form
of the verb, as well a
s seeking to indicate what
time
/mode of the verb
typed
.
Still
, JVD also works with adjectives.

JVC and JVD are not in the same page, and
are not from the same developer. The JVD also works normally in the browser of Android device. Bo
th are
focused on the study of reading


grammar


and only use the media text for input and output.

Nihongo Dekimasu
13

is a free online course in Japanese, also available in Portuguese, with several
multimedia features.

Lessons are taught through videos th
at depict the day
-
to
-
day life of a foreign student in
Japan, with the possibility to show subtitles in Japanese with kanji, Japanese with kana only, roma
-
ji, English
and Portuguese. In the system, the dialogs can be displayed as text or manga, and there ar
e review questions
with immediate feedback. For registered users


for free


it saves a record of study, containing the student

s
performance. Nihongo Dekimasu is to study reading and listening, and for this, it makes use of media text,
image, audio and v
ideo for output. In tests, the media have been affected to be used on Android, because
despite
running the homepage of the site, videos, images and exercises could not be displayed.

Moreover, the course of



5

List of kanji characters announced officially by the Japanese Ministry of Education (currently 2,136).

6

http://
www.
jiten
.net.

7

http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi
-
bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1C.

8

http://japanese.reader.bz.

9

http://www.furiganizer.com.

10

http://www.realkana.com.

11

http://www.japaneseverbconjugator.com.

12

http://kanjidict.stc.cx/japverb3.php.

13

htt
ps://www.erin.ne.jp/en/
.



NHK World

Radio
14
,

on Android, media image and text

were presented correctly but the audio could not be
accessed. This course is offered online, where it is also possible that students get the lessons for their devices in
audio and text. It focuses on the teaching of reading and listening, using the media
text, image and audio for
output.

And the course

Vamos Ganbatear
15
,
offered weekly by Radio Nikkei, offers its audio and text of each
lesson for download, also in
PT
-
BR
, aiming to teach reading and listening through media text and audio for
output.
For medi
a text, tests were acceptable, but the audio could not be played.

Livemocha
16

is a social network focused on
LL
, where the

teachers


are the users of the network, they
teach their native language and in return, receive lessons from
natives of the target la
nguage

of their study. It is
possible to send an audio of reading, done by students in the target language for natives to comment and correct.
In addition, the site also offers ready lessons in various forms of media, with exercises and feedback. Japanese
is
included as one of the
languages
offered by the
site, which

is focused on the study of reading and listening, as
well as speech, corrected by the natives
.

A
s used media they have audio for input, audio and text for output.

In
the tests, the site only
showed content with options without Flash, even with the plugin installed. Text and image
medias remained the same, but the audio could not be used due to this.

With similar methodology, but with a
different target audience, Lang
-
8
17

is a site of language t
eaching, where each user makes posts in the language he
wants to learn, so it is more suitable for advanced users.
P
eople native to the language
that the student wants to
learn

correct your text, your post, and comment on everything in
their

native languag
e so that the user is actually
immersed. The focus of Lang
-
8 reading and writing with the media text for input and output. The use was not
impaired in Android,
with
the site

s features

remaining operative
.

We also evaluated
LingQ
18

site, that offers lessons

in audio with text to follow, in which the registered
user can create a list of known words and their translations, as well as doing exercises with content already
learned.

It focuses
on reading and listening, and uses the media audio and text for output.

On

Android
environment, the tasks could not be performed because the site does not fit the device. However, for users who
have a paying account at any level, it is available the LingQ Android App.

And

JapanesePod101
19
,
also
,

is a
website with a proposal to

study Japanese with a podcast, where it is available various multimedia resources for
learning, as audio lessons, text to follow, as well as videos and images.
Some of the features of the site are paid,
but the newly registered user is entitled to a seven

day test of all system features. On the Android device, we
could not hear the audio or watch the videos, but the medias image and text remained unchanged.

The browser extensions

Rikaichan


Firefox
20



e Rikaikun


Chrome
21



are meant

to reveal a pop
-
up
wh
en the user positions the cursor over a kanji (text) present on the page,
to show

information such as
translation
and some forms of use
.

R
eading is the focus, using the media text for output. For Android browser,
there is Rikai, a paid
A
pp
with the same fu
nctionality as the two mentioned above.

While Furigana Injector,
which is also a browser extension


Firefox
22

and

Chrome
23


,
inserts furigana on the kanji in Japanese texts of a
certain tab
.
This is a complement to the study of reading and uses the media t
ext as input and output.

PopKanji
24

is a small popup program written in Javascript to run in browsers. With it enabled, the user selects a kanji, and
the application shows a figure with
its

stroke order, as well as its reading and translation, among other
i
nformation. It is available the translation into
PT
-
BR
. It is an application focused on the study of reading, and
employs the media text as input
,

and text and image for output. The application PopKanji did not work in
Android browser, because it did not o
ffer the option of selecting uneditable text.

Kanji Drill
25

is a site that offers an online system of flashcards to registered users. It focuses on the
study of reading and uses the media text for input and output.

Like it,
there is

SpeedAnki
26
,
that

has its

flashcards focused specifically on the JLPT exam
27
, and uses the media text to output. Both have a role in



14

http://www.nhk.or.jp/lesson/english/index.html
.

15

http://www.radionikkey.jp/por/community/japanese/.

16

http://www.livemocha.com
.

17

http://www.lang
-
8.com
.

18

http://www.lingq.com.

19

http://www.japanesepod101.com.

20

https://addons.m
ozilla.org/en
-
us/firefox/addon/rikaichan/.

21

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/rikaikun/jipdnfibhldikgcjhfnomkfpcebammhp.

22

https://addons.mozilla.org/en
-
US/firefox/addon/furigana
-
injector/
.

23

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/furigana
-
inje
ctor/cbahnmcliajmanjkaolemjelphicnein.

24

http://www.aprendendojapones.com/2009/07/30/popkanji
-
dicionario
-
de
-
kanji
-
em
-
popup/.

25

http://www.kanjidrill.com.

26

http://www.speedanki.com.

27

The Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) is a test that evaluates a
nd certifies Japanese language proficiency for non
-
native
speakers.



reviewing the studied cards, as a usual Spaced Repetition System (SRS)
.
Kanji Drill and SpeedAnki work
seamlessly on Android, just like in its origin
al environment.

O

Njuku
28
,
which is a site, offers great Japanese
texts with audio for accompaniment, and some words translated into English. You can
download the audio files.
It is focused on the study of reading and comprehension, using the medias text an
d audio as output. The
behavior of the media text in Android was normal, but the audio could not be accessed.

Syvum
29
,
e
-
learning site
available in
PT
-
BR
, offers quizzes in Japanese for the study of reading and listening through the media text for
input, an
d audio and text for output.
By accessing Syvum in the Android environment, the functions were kept,
although they are presented differently.
However, with the audio, we have not succeeded.

Teaching Japanese for English speakers is the purpose of the site
Nihongo o Narau
30
,

taking advantage
of explanation lessons with vocabulary, grammar, writing, reading, speaking and listening, and contextualization
with Japan using music and photos.

The media text, images and audio are used for output.
The behavior of all

media in Android remained unchanged.
Nihongo De Care
-
Navi
31

is a site that offers phrases in Japanese with
English translation, with examples of usage and word searches, along with audio for words and phrases.

The
teaching of reading and listening through
the media text for input and, text and audio as output, is its goal. In
tests, it offered a version for mobile devices, and all media work correctly.

The

Anki
32

is a desktop program
(
however on their website is offered access to AnkiWeb, which is a
version
of the program that can be accessed on the web
)

of SRS digitalization, which contains specific plugins
for studying Japanese.

Through it you can create decks of flashcards with the fields

expression

, where you can
put kanas, kanji, phrases,

meaning

,
fo
r

translation of the content of the previous field;

reading


that contains
the reading of content, in hiragana alphabet, and


tags

for better organization of content.

It is also possible to
attach sounds to flashcards,
to

study listening. Anki is widely
used by Japanese students from around the world,
and because of this, it is easy to find ready decks, which students can use, as well as create your own decks using
them as a way of fixing content learned by other means.

Anki can be used for training both
reading and
comprehension, because of its multimedia features, and
the desktop version
is available in
PT
-
BR
. The
AnkiWeb version, which can be accessed from any browser, works fine on Android.

Table 1
summar
ize

30 identified and evaluated tools, classif
ie
s

them

according
to the language skills
they support
, and also indicat
es

the used medias, i.e., (T)ext, (P)icture, (A)udio
,
and (V)ideo.



Tool

Language skills

Available in PT
-
BR

Reading

Writing

Speak

Listening

Ajax

-

T

&

P

-

-

No

HKR

-

T

&

P

-

-

No

uPal

-

T

&

P

-

-

No

Denshi Jish
o

T

&
P

-

-

-

Partly

Jiten

T
&

P

-

-

-

No

WWWJDIC

T

-

-

A

No

JND

T
&

P

-

-

-

No

Furiganizer

T

-

-

-

No

RealKana

T

&

P

-

-

-

Yes

RealKanji

T

&

P

-

-

-

No

JVC

T

-

-

-

No

JVD

T

-

-

-

No

Nihongo Dekimasu

T

&

P

-

-

A

&

V

Yes

Curso NHK

T
&

P

-

-

P
&

A

Yes

Vamos Ganbatear

T

-

-

A

Yes

Livemocha

T

-

T

&

A

A

Yes

Lang
-
8

T

T

-

-

No

LingQ

T

-

-

A

Yes

JapanesePod101

T

&

P

-

-

A

&

V

No

Rikaichan

T

-

-

-

No

Rikaikun

T

-

-

-

No




28

http://www.njuku.com.

29

http://br.syvum.com.

30

http://www.learn
-
japanese.info.

31

http://eng.nihongodecarenavi.jp/eng/index.php.

32

http://
www.
ankisrs.net.



Furigana Injector

T

-

-

-

No

PopKanji

T

&

P

-

-

-

Yes

Kanji Drill

T

-

-

-

No

SpeedAnki

T

-

-

-

No

Njuku

T

&

A

-

-

T

&

A

No

Syvum

T

-

-

T

&

A

Yes

Nihongo o Narau

T
&

P

T

T
&

A

T
&

A

No

Nihongo De Care
-
Navi

T

-

-

T

&

A

No

Anki/AnkiWeb

T

-

-

T

&

A

Yes

Table 1
:

Medias used by CALL Web Tools for th
e
Japanese

language, identified by language skills.



After the identification of different tools, we selected the 26 most used in Practice, presented above, to
evaluation by tests in Android environment.
In these tests, some tools worked perfectly, others

had
modifications that did not compromise its performance, while some of them had
part of its content spoilt
,
inaccessible or simply did not work
; on the other hand, some of them offered a version

specific for the
device/environment.
The result of behavio
r of every multimedia element of these tools during the tests in
Android environment, as a highlight of what could be lost of the application when used outside its original
environment, are summarized on Table 2.
We also highlight that, in this table, four

of the tools described on
Table 1 are not present, for they are plugins for a different browser that the Android default one, being this our
default test environment
for

all of the identified tools
.

Table 2

joins the results related to the tools that were

able to be used somehow in Android
environment, showing if there was behavior changes of Text, Picture, Audio and Video medias.
Because of that,
not all of the tools described above is contained on this table.
In its cells, ‘Y’ is positive for change of b
ehavior,
‘N’ is no change of behavior to (I)nput or (O)utput of information in the referred media; and “
-
” means the
media was not used in that tool.


Tool

Multimedia behaviour in Android
OS

Text

Picture

Audio

Video

Ajax

N (O)

Y

(I)

-

-

HKR

N (O)

Y (I)

-

-

uPal

N (I/O)

N (I
/O
)

-

-

Denshi Jisho

N (I/O)

N (O)

-

-

Jiten

N (I/O)

N (O)

-

-

WWWJDIC

N (I/O)

-

Y (O)

-

JND

N (I/O)

N (O)

-

-

Furiganizer

N (I/O)

-

-

-

RealKana

Y

(I)

&
N

(O)

N (O)

-

-

RealKanji

Y

(I)

&
N

(O)

N (O)

-

-

JVC

N (I/O)

-

-

-

JV
D

N (I/O)

-

-

-

Nihongo Dekimasu

N (O)

Y

(O)

Y (O)

Y (O)

Curso NHK

N (O)

N (O)

Y (O)

-

Vamos Ganbatear

N (O)

-

Y (O)

-

Livemocha

N (I/O)

-

Y (I)

-

Lang
-
8

N (I/O)

-

-

-

LingQ

Y (O)

-

Y (O)

-

JapanesePod101

N (O)

N

(O)

Y (O)

Y (O)

Kanji Drill

N (O)

-

-

-

SpeedAnki

N (O)

-

-

-

Njuku

N (O)

-

Y (O)

-

Syvum

N (I/O)

-

Y (O)


Nihongo o Narau

N (O)

N (O)

N (O)

-

Nihongo De Care
-
Navi

N (I/O)

-

N (O)

-

AnkiWeb

N (O)

-

N (O)

-

Table 2
:
State of the Practice Tools, synthesizing media behavior when accesse
d from the Android platform.




Discussion



In our analysis, we observed the tools hold manifold focus, medias and strategies for

the
Japanese

LL
/
support,
and it’s up to the interested user to make a choice for a most appropriate tool for his context, even
though many of them still cannot be used in mobile environment, ignoring this market trend.
Between the
identified tools, some of them support students native in different languages, including specificities of the
PT
-
BR
. We highlight that, with this work,
we presented an overview of the area, containing a considerable number
and diversity of content, showing, so, the possibilities and trends of the nowadays State of the Practice, but not
an exhaustive list of tools
.


The tests with tools were made manually,

for each one of them; first by the fact that it was necessary to
know each tool, the tasks each one perform and the medias they use, since they are very distinct from each other;
also, because in the context

of the evaluation of media behavior and how it
affects the learning process, we
chose to do a thorough evaluation, under a human
viewpoint
instead of automatized
.

A handicap found during
the mobile

Android

environment tests

was the Flash Player point, since the platform does not offer support
anymore,
even is no longer possible to install Flash Player from Google

Play
®
, neither from the Flash Player
developer’s official site. To accomplish the tests, it was necessary to search for the player in .apk format, and
install it manually, but even like this, t
he results were not satisfactory.
That occurs because of the fact that Flash
technology is being replaced by sites developed with HTML5 technology. However, as many sites still use Flash
technology, the deactivation of support creates a barrier with the si
tes that still did not migrate to new
technologies, currently supported
.

About the used medias


i.e., text,
p
icture
, audio
,

and v
i
deo


by the evaluated tools
, it was possible to
notice a trend for massive utilization of text and picture medias, followed
by audio media, and just a few
applications use video media.
Observing the Android environment tests, the less affected media was text, as for
output there was no changing in any of the applications, whilst audio was the one who suffered more changes of
be
havior, mostly being not able to be accessed.
This can be partly explained by the differences between the
artifacts available in each platform of hardware/software, but maybe not by a lack of interest or investment to
adapt it, what in some situations does

not involve large complexity
.

About the language skills supported, there is a remarkable trend

focused on reading learning, followed
by listening; this can occur because of the complexity required to test abilities like writing or speak, related to its
in
put medias and the way to analyze them.
About the tools that are or present version in
PT
-
BR
, it is possible to
highlight that just a small part of them contemplates native PT
-
BR speakers public
. A
fter made all the tests, we
could also observe
that most of

the tools can be used at mobile environment, i.e., are compatible, however,
because they were not developed for that, it is not rare that the user cannot access the tool’s whole potential,
mainly over questions about interaction/usability.
This could be p
erceived because the tests were made
manually
.


Through the development of this work, still was possible to observe that, even there are many options
available of CALL Web Tools for Japanese, there is still a lot to be done to obtain satisfactory adaptatio
n,
according to the new technological reality that are the mobile devices.
This warns how much current CALL
systems are not prepared to the
rise of
mobile devices,

speci
fically about Android platform,

and its use in
LL
.


Conclusion


In this work, we identi
fied the State of the Practice of CALL Web
t
ools

that support Japanese
LL
, and
then, we evaluated how these tools behave in Android OS about its portability, media recognition, technologies
and strategies contained in
them,

and educational media. With the
achievement

of this work, we were able to
find that there are several tools

for Japanese LL,

used by students all around the world
.

We also performed a
case
study about the possibility of using these tools in an Android OS
environment
, and the impact it co
uld cause
on the use
, regarding the multiple medias used in the process of
learning Japanese. We considered the behavior of each media, being used every single evaluated tool outside of
its original environment (
PC desktop

browser). Still, we discussed abo
ut the results found in the tools’ tests
.


As future work, we point
the study of tools focused specifically to the mobile
App
s
.

As well as a study
about requirements and the development of a very own tool, that
embrace the real nowadays public of Japanese
language students, that use digital environments offered by the new technologies with educational purpose.




Acknowledgments


This work was partially supported by the Brazilian National Council of Scientific and Technological
Development (CNPq grant #163408
/2012
-
2) and by the Physical Artifacts of Interaction Research Group
(PAIRG) at Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Brazil
.


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