Using Boundary Objects in the Methodology of TEFL at the Tertiary Level of Education

  • Agnieszka Gadomska
Part of the Second Language Learning and Teaching book series (SLLT)


Boundary objects were first defined in the 1989 article “‘Translations’ and Boundary Objects: Amateurs and Professionals in Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology 1907–39” by Susan Leigh Star and Jason Griesemer. Since then the term has become extremely popular. It refers to “an analytical concept that belongs to two boundary worlds and fulfills the communicative needs of each of these social worlds” (Bukalska, 2015, p. 94). The concept of “mobile technologies as boundary objects in the hands of pre-service language teachers” was, however, first coined and described by Elżbieta Gajek in her 2016 article “Mobile Technologies as Boundary Objects in the Hands of Student Teachers of Languages Inside and Outside the University”. The following article focuses on the particular teaching strategies adapted to the usage of mobile phones in the English language classroom in order to show their potential as boundary objects. The author’s aim is to show that learners and teachers who use mobile devices inside the institution cross not only linguistic and cultural boundaries but also build the bridges over social and generation gaps in order to mediate the meaning. The case study will concern the SWPS University English Philology students.


Boundary objects Mobile technology TEFL Tertiary education 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishSWPS University of Social Sciences and HumanitiesWarsawPoland

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