Vocabulary Learning Through Mobile Apps: A Phenomenological Inquiry of Student Acceptance and Desired Apps Features

Farhana Diana Deris, Nor Seha A Shukor


Vocabulary plays a great role in language learning as learners would face difficulties in language learning if they have insufficient vocabulary knowledge. The advent of new technologies has encouraged the development of mobile assisted language learning (MALL) and the increase in mobile apps for vocabulary learning. Nonetheless, it would seem that there is a dearth in research on the use of mobile apps for vocabulary learning especially in our local contexts. Capitalising on the strength of phenomenological inquiry and a model for technology acceptance, this study investigated several existing mobile apps for language learning. In particular, it looked into students’ acceptance and the features of mobile apps conducive for vocabulary learning. This study employed in-depth interviews and surveys as instruments. Using purposive sampling technique, thirty-three students were selected as participants to experience using mobile apps to learn vocabulary on self-directed basis for a specified duration. At the end of the trial stage, all participants responded to the surveys, and three were interviewed. The accounts given by participants indicated positive acceptance and several desired features. Interestingly, this study also revealed several challenges in learning vocabulary through mobile apps which should be the concern of both apps developers and language teachers.


Vocabulary learning; Mobile Assisted Language Learning; English as a Second Language; Apps features

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International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (iJIM) – eISSN: 1865-7923
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