Educational smartphone apps for language learning in higher education: Students’ choices and perceptions

Keywords: Educational Apps, Language Learning, Higher Education, Student Perception

Abstract

The popularity and use of smartphone apps for language learning have significantly grown in Iran over the past years. Despite this growth, empirical data on students’ choice of such apps, their perception towards them, and the impact of external factors on their attitude remains scant. In an attempt to contribute to this research base, a descriptive survey study was carried out to explore the type of language learning apps commonly used by 381 university students at Amirkabir University of Technology and their perception towards the effectiveness of these apps for developing learning language skills. Dictionary and lexical apps appeared to be the most popular application types amongst participants. While students were generally positive about the use of apps for language learning, they had different viewpoints regarding the potential of apps for developing different language skills.  The results of ANOVA indicate that gender did not play a significant role in participants’ perception. On the contrary, the type of apps used significantly shaped students’ attitudes towards app-based language learning. The findings contribute to research on mobile assisted language learning and educational app design, by shedding more light on students’ choice of apps for learning different language skills.

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Author Biography

Fatemeh Nami, Amirkabir University of Technology
Dr Fatemeh Nami has been teaching undergraduate and graduate courses at Tarbiat Modares University, Iran University of Science and Technology and Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, where she is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Foreign Languages. She holds a PhD in Teaching English as a Foreign Language with a focus on Computer Assisted Language Learning from Alzahra University. Her research on content authoring for online language learning courses has been recognized as the Top Research at the 7th International Conference on E-Learning and E-Teaching at K. N. Toosi University. Her research interests include CALL, mobile assisted language learning, digital storytelling, content authoring technologies, learning management systems, online learning and digital materials development. 
Published
2019-12-19
Section
Articles