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With or Without Tablets? The Effectiveness of Mobile Technology Assisted Language learning (MALL) in Case of ESL

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In the field of information and communication technologies (ICT) the mobile technology (e.g. laptop, smartphone, tablet) started to take its place in the classrooms and may remain there for a longer period; the usefulness of these technology was underlined by several researches (Abonyi-Tóth – Turcsányi-Szabó, 2015; Hashim et al., 2017; Marés, 2012). The mobile devices can be applied to develop different competencies, therefore they can be an effective learning aid beside the desktop computers. The Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) is an approach where mobile devices support and enhance the process of learning and teaching (AbuSa’aleek, 2014), hence they can help the development of vocabulary, listening comprehension, grammar, pronunciation and reading comprehension (Zurita and Nussbaum, 2004 cited by Hashim et al. 2017).
In our empirical research we examined the effectiveness of the MALL environment (vocabulary, pronunciation) and we also took a glance at the students’ attitude toward the mobile technology supported vocabulary learning. We organized an experimental research design (with PPC) with 4th grader (age 10-11 ISCED 2011 level 1) primary school pupils (N=38); the experimental group learnt the words with an interactive application (Quizlet) on the tablet while the control group remained with the traditional (paper-based) learning methods. The vocabulary results of the pre-test and the nine post-tests show a significant positive difference for the group with better achievement level while the group with lower achievement level had no change in their scores. In our examination we found no evidence on the development of the pronunciation within any groups. The attitudinal survey showed a positive manner of the students towards the mobile technology supported vocabulary learning, some of them learnt words with their own device at home. As the advantages of MALL pupils mentioned the “freedom of changing their task”, “the possibility of practicing the pronunciation” and the “easiness of text input” whereas disadvantages were mainly technical (freezing, slow device).

keywords: mobile technology, language learning, MALL, ICT

Published in: Education
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With or Without Tablets? The Effectiveness of Mobile Technology Assisted Language learning (MALL) in Case of ESL

  1. 1. WITH OR WITHOUT TABLETS? THE EFFECTIVENESS OF MOBILE TECHNOLOGY ASSISTED LANGUAGE LEARNING (MALL) IN CASE OF ESL Balazs Czekman University of Debrecen, Hungary PhD student ICT MasterMinds
  2. 2. ICT AND MOBILE TECHNOLOGY  the effect of the ICT in education was confirmed by different researches; with its applying the learning and teaching can be more interesting and motivating (Chapelle, 2001)  the emerge of mobile devices in education; several advantages; (Marés, 2012; Abonyi-Tóth – Turcsányi-Szabó, 2015; Hashim et al., 2017)  it can be an effective support for developing foreign language competencies (Hashim et al. 2017; Cobb et al., 2010; Zurita & Nussbaum, 2004)  there are only few Hungarian researches (e.g. Kétyi, Asztalos) and examinations on effectiveness II. MOBILE DEVICES IN EDUCATION CONFERENCE, 2017, Balatonfűzfő
  3. 3. THEORITICAL BACKGROUND OF MALL  it is known from the 80’s: consultations via telephone; courses via teleconference; SMS, MMS-based lectures; (Twarog & Pereszlenyi Pinter, 1988; Dickey, 2001; JISC, 2005)  Definition of MALL (Miangah & Nezarat, 2012), devices of MALL  Main areas of MALL  Affordances and constraints of MALL MALLm-learning CALL II. MOBILE DEVICES IN EDUCATION CONFERENCE, 2017, Balatonfűzfő
  4. 4. DETAILS OF THE RESEARCH  the aim of the research:  the research of the effectiveness of the vocabulary acquisition;  the students’ attitude to MALL vocabulary learning  sample: lower primary, 4th grade (N=38)  research method: true experimental research design  experimental group (tablet, Quizlet) (n=20)  control group (traditional methods, devices) (n=18)  data collection:  online questionnaire  pretest, 9 posttest (Redmenta, pronunciation) II. MOBILE DEVICES IN EDUCATION CONFERENCE, 2017, Balatonfűzfő
  5. 5. H1: The MALL can make a positive effect on students’ vocabulary acquisition. H2: The MALL can make a positive effect on students’ pronunciation. H3: The MALL can make a positive effect on the motivation of students’ vocabulary learning. H4: The MALL differently supports the group of students with different achievement levels. What advantages of the mobile technology supported vocabulary acquisition do students see? What disdvantages of the mobile technology supported vocabulary acquisition do students see? HYPOTHESES, RESEARCH QUESTIONS II. MOBILE DEVICES IN EDUCATION CONFERENCE, 2017, Balatonfűzfő
  6. 6. VOCABULARY ACQUISITION I. tablet (n=11) non-tablet (n=10) ANOVA mean sd mean sd F η2 pretest 68,64 14,678 66,00 15,776 0,16 0,01 posttest2 76,82 26,483 59,50 30,863 1,92 0,09 posttest3 80,91 23,645 71,00 19,120 1,10 0,05 posttest4 88,18 13,652 76,00 23,310 2,19 0,10 posttest5 84,55 13,314 68,00 17,981 5,82* 0,23 posttest6 81,82 19,656 66,50 23,694 2,62 0,12 posttest7 86,82 16,774 69,00 27,669 3,26 0,15 posttest8 81,36 17,901 61,50 24,501 4,56* 0,19 posttest9 64,55 27,969 53,00 26,687 0,93 0,05 posttest10 80,91 20,593 59,00 26,013 4,62* 0,20 The vocabulary acquisition mean of the group with the better achievement level (percentage point), (* p <0,05; η2 = effect size) II. MOBILE DEVICES IN EDUCATION CONFERENCE, 2017, Balatonfűzfő
  7. 7. VOCABULARY ACQUISITION II. The change of the vocabulary acquisition results (percantage point) of the group with the better achievement level (* p <0,05) 68,64 76,82 80,91 88,18 84,55* 81,82 86,82 81,36* 64,55 80,91* 66,00 59,50 71,00 76,00 68,00* 66,50 69,00 61,50* 53,00 59,00* 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 tablet non-tablet II. MOBILE DEVICES IN EDUCATION CONFERENCE, 2017, Balatonfűzfő
  8. 8. PRONUNCIATION better achievement level standard achievement level tablet non-tablet tablet non-tablet mean sd mean sd mean sd mean sd pretest 82,73 15,55 83,00 24,06 64,44 13,33 76,25 17,68 posttest2 84,55 15,72 86,00 12,65 68,89 29,34 70,00 19,27 posttest3 90,00 18,97 89,00 11,97 72,22 29,06 78,75 17,27 posttest4 90,91 12,21 97,00 6,75 78,89 16,16 90,00 10,69 posttest5 80,91 21,66 91,00 9,94 71,11 15,37 81,25 9,91 posttest6 80,91 17,00 82,00 13,17 65,56 19,44 65,00 14,14 posttest7 91,82 13,28 90,00 15,63 75,56 16,67 86,25 15,06 posttest8 85,45 17,53 89,00 14,49 73,33 23,98 86,25 10,61 posttest9 82,73 18,49 90,00 11,55 68,89 22,61 70,00 17,73 posttest10 83,64 17,48 93,00 10,59 74,44 18,10 80,00 16,90 Mean of the pronunciation results (percentage point) broken by groups with different achievement level (no significant diff.) II. MOBILE DEVICES IN EDUCATION CONFERENCE, 2017, Balatonfűzfő
  9. 9. STUDENTS’ ATTITUDE: MOTIVATION Would you like to continue learning with tablets? If we had learnt English from grade one, we would know the vocabulary better. 95% (19) 5% (1) Igen Nem 90% (18) 10% (2) Igen Nem II. MOBILE DEVICES IN EDUCATION CONFERENCE, 2017, Balatonfűzfő
  10. 10. MOTIVATION (LEARNING AT HOME) Distribution of learning with Quizlet at home some times weekly 20% (4) weekly 5% (1) rarely 10% (2) never 65% (14) II. MOBILE DEVICES IN EDUCATION CONFERENCE, 2017, Balatonfűzfő
  11. 11. ATTITUDE OF VOCABULARY LEARNING I like to learn with tablet. I like to learn vocabulary with tablet. I like to learn vocabulary from my exercise book. mean 4,85 4,45 2,50 N 20 20 20 sd 0,67 0,69 1,70 The student’s atitude to tablet supported vocabulary learning
  12. 12. ADVANTAGES OF LEARNING WITH QUIZLET 80% (16) 70% (14) 60% (12) 60% (12) 60% (12) 50% (10) 40% (8) 35% (7) 25% (5) 15% (3) 5% (1) I can choose from the tasks I can practice pronunciation I write easier with mobile device entertaining fast playful I can work with tablet or smartphone I can compete It's cool I receive an instant feedback else II. MOBILE DEVICES IN EDUCATION CONFERENCE, 2017, Balatonfűzfő Advantages of learning with Quizlet (number and percentage of answers)
  13. 13. DISADVANTAGES OF LEARNING WITH QUIZLET 30% (6) 30% (6) 25% (5) 20% (4) 10% (2) 10% (2) 5% (1) 5% (1) 0% (0) 0% (0) 0% (0) it's freezing it's slow I don't like competing I would like to know my results It distracts my attention I don't like working with mobile… I write more difficult with mobile… I don't like choosing from tasks it's boring it doesn't help my pronunciation else Disadvantages of learning with Quizlet (number and percentage of answers)
  14. 14. SUMMARY  MALL helps the students to learn vocabulary, but it’s only significant for the group with better achievement level.  There is no significant difference in the pronunciation.  Most of the students prefer learning vocabulary with tablets.  One third of the students learn at home using their own mobile devices.  advantages: freedom to choose task, practice pronunciation and writing easier with mobile devices disadvantages: technical problems; competition II. MOBILE DEVICES IN EDUCATION CONFERENCE, 2017, Balatonfűzfő
  15. 15. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION! Balazs Czekman balazs.czekman@gmail.com edumobil.hu

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