Vocabulary Learning and Consolidation with Mobile Application

Vocabulary Learning and Consolidation with Mobile Application

Dongshuo Wang (University of Manchester, Manchester, UK), Bin Zou (Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou, Jiangsu, CN) and Minjie Xing (University of Manchester, Manchester, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/ijcallt.2014010106

Abstract

Language learners at all levels need a way of recording and organising newly learned vocabulary for consolidation and for future reference. Listing words alphabetically in a vocabulary notebook has been a traditional way of organising this information. However, paper-based notes are limited in terms of space (learners often run out of space for certain categories; for others the space might be unused) and time (handwritten pages deteriorate over time and cannot easily be updated). Organizing vocabulary in more meaningful categories might make it easier to learn. Textbooks, for example, often introduce new vocabulary thematically. Words can also be organised according to their grammatical class or characteristics, their real world category (e.g. modes of transport, means of communication), their phonological pattern, their etymological elements, or according to when/where they were learnt. This research experiments how the mobile learning of a lexical spreadsheet can be used for the consolidation of and reference to new vocabulary. Offering the learner multiple ways of organising vocabulary at the same time – combining all of the approaches mentioned above, the resource can easily be modified and updated. Importantly, in keeping with autonomous learning theory, the spreadsheet is designed to encourage learners to take more responsibility for their own vocabulary learning and to approach this process more systematically. The resource can be used from any mobile smart phone, tablet or i-Pad.
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Introduction

New technologies such as the smartphone, tablet and I-pad and other mobile internet-accessible devices have become increasingly available. These technologies have the potential for learners to most effectively utilize available resources. Technological innovations can increase learner interest and motivation (Bibby, 2011); provide students with increased access to target language input, interaction opportunities and feedback; and provide language tutors with an efficient means for organizing course content and interacting with students (Golonka, Bowlesa, Frank, Richardson & Freynik, 2014). With the availability of new technologies as mobile learning means, more and more researchers and language practitioners are turning their attention to enhancing language learning via mobile technology devices. Particularly, these technology devices can be used for vocabulary learning. For example, learners can use mobile learning apps on smartphones and tablet devices to vocabulary (Sweeney & Moore, 2012).

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