Pedagogical Potentials of Mobile-assisted Language Learning for ESL Learners’ Vocabulary Development: A Survey Study of Hong Kong Business Undergraduates

By Chung Yee Lai.

Published by The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Despite the ever-increasing penetration of smartphones in developed countries, nowadays, few studies have been conducted to explore the pedagogical potentials of game applications for English as a second language (ESL) learners’ vocabulary development in the Mobile-assisted Language Learning (MALL) environment. This paper aims to examine Hong Kong ESL tertiary students’ perspectives on the popular Draw Something app and provide suggestions to optimize its design for vocabulary learning purposes. Results of the questionnaire show that Hong Kong ESL learners hold positive attitudes towards MALL and notice that the app can help improve their vocabulary ability to a certain extent. To efficiently and effectively improve ESL learners’ vocabulary ability, suggestions are made to its design regarding the choice of vocabulary, presence of phonological forms and illustrative sentences, as well as additional rules regulating the drawing of compound words. The implications of this study can also give inspirations to mobile phone app developers who are interested in developing educational apps for m-learning.

Keywords: Second Language Learning, Vocabulary Development, Mobile-assisted Language Learning, Incidental Vocabulary Learning

The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp.29-48. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 273.865KB).

Chung Yee Lai

The Open University of Hong Kong, Lee Shau Kee School of Business & Administration, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Ms. Tracy Lai is an assistant lecturer from the School of Business and Administration, The Open University of Hong Kong. She is currently teaching Chinese and English Business Communication courses for undergraduates in Hong Kong. She has taught English enhancement courses and involved in the curriculum design of various Business Communication courses in distance learning mode for adults. She is also a member of Departmental Advisory Committee for Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Her main research interest includes Business Communication, Mass Communication, Advertising and ESL learning. She has been involved in a few projects funded by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and The Open University of Hong Kong, including a study on language shift of Chinese dialects, an inter-linguistic and inter-cultural analysis of global corporate websites, as well as a project on an innovative website for studying professional communication in Hong Kong.