AbstractAs the previousresearch indicates, technology plays an important role and has a greatpotential in foreign language teaching. It is also obvious that mobile assistedlanguage learning (MALL) considerably affects learning process among foreignlanguage learners. However, as a still growing area, MALL research needs toexpand so that it covers different contexts and age groups. Therefore, thiscurrent study aims to investigate the relationship between MALL and vocabularylearning. In this study, 60 students who study at auniversity in Turkey were divided into two groups and they have been observedover a 4 week period. The experimental group used an app called “Quizziz” for 4weeks and the control group went on learning vocabulary through traditionalpaper-based activities. Results from this observation show that the experimentgroup slightly outscored the control group. However, no significant differencewas observed between the scores of these two groups.
Keywords: mobile-assisted languagelearning (MALL), vocabulary learning, mobile applications, quizziz 1. IntroductionLearning language necessitates main skillslike listening and reading, which has been defined as receptive skills; andother main skills like speaking and writing, which has been defined asproductive skills. To be capable of using these skills in an effective way,learners need to have a certain amount of knowledge of grammar and vocabulary,which are both called sub-skills.
If we compare these sub-skills; vocabularyhas a more vital role in language learning process. Students cannot expressthemselves or understand the language just through grammar knowledge; but theycan use the language and interpret the input at a certain level thanks tovocabulary knowledge even if they don’t have enough grammar knowledge. In asimple way, it enables learners to interpret the input and let them turn theseinput to output through an interpreting process.It is clear that vocabulary plays animportant role in the language learning process and that’s why teachers try toteach vocabulary through some techniques and methods through definitions,self-defining context, antonyms, synonyms, dramatization, pictures and drawings,realia, illustrative sentences and some other techniques.
(Mehta, 2009). However, this century offers us some otherchoices beside the current techniques and methods thanks to the technologicaldevelopments seen in last decades. Technologies have resulted in importantchanges in the process of teaching and learning. (Pavlik, 2015).
Computers and mobile phones are in use ofmillions of people and they are benefitted in every aspect of our daily lives.Especially, smart phones have become an essential part of the life and Saranand Seferoglu (2010) has stated that “Mobile devices could open new doorswith their unique qualities such as “accessibility, personalizability, andportability”. Taking these facts into account, teachers can try tointegrate these changes into their classes and utilize these smart phones andcomputers in classes. To achieve that, lots of apps have been developed andstored in online markets by the developers and these applications are offeredto teachers and learners to let them learn and teach the language in a betterway. With the technological developments seen in last years, many benefits oftechnology use has been experienced and for sure, it fostered learning andteaching in classes. Ball (2011) has stated that it increases learner autonomyand motivation; enables transferability of skills to the real-life; letstudents get instant feedback and make it easier for students to track progressof their goals.Some teachersand learners already have started benefiting from these apps and websites andthey have become very popular all over the world; some of these popular apps areKahoot, Quizlet, Quizizz, Busuu and Voscreen. Beside these, there are manyother apps and websites which have different techniques but somehow similareducational aims.
Many studieshave been published on mobile apps or computers for language learning, (seeByrne & Diem, 2014; Khaddage & Latteman, 2013; Steel, 2012; Jaradat,2014; Wu,2008) However, this study will focus on two groups of A2 students’vocabulary classes at a university in Turkey, one of which has been chosen asthe experimental group and they will be busy with “Quizizz” which has an appversion and online website version for learning and the other one has beenchosen as the control group and they will be busy with traditional methods. Firstly, the study firstly will review theprevious studies and research in this field and then will report on the design,content and objective of the study. Finally, it will present and compare thedata and discuss the results and reach a conclusion. 2. LiteratureReview 2.1 Students AttitudesThere are somestudies which investigated the attitude of students to mobile assisted languagelearning through some questionnaires and interviews and they found a positiveattitude (Saran et al. (2008) (Lu, 2008) (Kukulska-Hulme, Shield, 2008) (Kutluk , 2014) (Jaradat, 2014). For instance, Jaradat (2014) investigated theperformance of students comparing the before and after using the mobile app tolearn French.
36 students participated in the study for 2 semesters and thedata collected in both formal and informal settings. A survey was applied and10 students were randomly chosen to conduct interviews. The result of the studyshowed that 76% of the students preferred to get French classes on mobilerather than in classroom or on a computer and 90% of the students stated thatthey were satisfied with the mobile app.
2.2 Previous PracticesAs it ismentioned before, there are many studies on technology use in education.Although there are a few studies which were made years ago, learning andteaching through mobile apps has started to become more popular and usable inclassrooms in recent years. Regarding those studies and research, it can beseen that they generally have created significant differences but there aresome studies which couldn’t find significant differences. Firstly, thisresearch will analyze some of these studies and research on mobile assistedlanguage learning (MALL) and see their results and comparisons withexperimental groups, which found significant differences and secondly; it willanalyze the ones which couldn’t find important differences.
Suwantarathipand Orawiwatnakul (2015) made a study to see the difference between paper-basedvocabulary exercises and SMS messages sent to learners to teach the newvocabulary. It lasted for 6 weeks and the group getting the messages to learnthe vocabulary outperformed the other group. While Suwantarathip andOrawiwatnakul (2015) compared the paper-based exercises with SMS messages; Wu(2012) compared SMS messages with a mobile app.
Wu (2015) has created an appfor mobile phones, which is called Word Learning-CET6 with the aim of teachingvocabulary to 70 Chinese students in two ways. The experimental group used theapp CET6 to learn the vocabulary while the other group studied the vocabularythrough text messages. The posttest results showed an important achievementdifference between these two groups, the experimental group showed a betterperformance.Azabdaftari(2012) had a study of vocabulary teaching through flashcards and SpacedRepetition System, which is a mobile-based program. There were 80 students andhalf of them formed the control group while the other half formed theexperimental group. This study lasted for 7 weeks. The group using mobile-appoutperformed the other group with a significant difference on a post-test of a20 item multiple-choice. Moreover, Ba?o?lu and Akdemir (2010) also made asimilar study.
They compared the differences between a mobile app of flashcardsand paper-based flashcards in learning vocabulary. There were 2 groups and eachgroup had 30 university students. The control group studied vocabulary onpaper-based flashcards while the experimental group studied the vocabulary on amobile-app of flashcards. After 6 weeks, a post-test was held and it was seenthat experimental group outscored the other group.Boticki, Wonget.
al. (2011) made a study in which 37 Chinese students at primary schoolplayed a game of Chinese character formation. There were 2 versions of thegame, the first one was played on smartphones while the other version waspaper-based. After a post-test was applied, it was seen that the learners whouse the mobile app performed better than the learners who play the paper-basedversion. Alemi, Sarabet al. (2012) made a study of mobile phone based SMS vocabulary program.
Therewere 45 students and they studied 320 headwords for 16 weeks. The experimentalgroup received example sentences twice a week and the other group studied thevocabulary by using a dictionary. After a post-test was held, no significantdifference was found. But on delayed post-test, the experimental group showedsignificantly better performance.Beside allthese studies above, Amer, (2010)Ally, Tin et.
al. (2011), Baleghizadeh and Oladrostam (2010) have applied MALLand found positive results. However, thereare some other studies which couldn’t find significant differences. Forinstance, Derakhshan and Kaivanpanah (2011) made a study which lasted 7weeks. A control group of 22 students and an experimental group of 21 attendedthe study and the experimental group used mobile-based SMS program. They weretaught 15-20 words per session and they were supposed to write down a sentencefor each word. A post-test and a delayed post-test were held later; but, theyboth showed no important difference between these groups. Hung, H-C et.
al. (2009) investigated theeffectiveness of WiCFG, which is atablet pc-based game on learning vocabulary. 32 students attended the study;half of them as a control group played the paper-based version of the gamewhile the other group as an experimental group played the game. After a while, students’motivation, attitude and learning outcome were analyzed and it was seen that itwas effective for low proficient learners, not for high proficient learners. Hsieh, Chiu et.
al. (2010) made a study inwhich they compared 2 groups of students. One of the groups as an experimentalgroup used a mobile writing app to enhance their writing skills in Chinesewhile the control group didn’t use the app. On the post-test, the experimentalgroup outperformed the other group just in terms of the mean gain scores; on theother hand, there were no significant difference in the abilities of personification, simile, description, hyperbole and repetition. 3. Methodology3.
1 Research DesignThis study aimsto see how effective “Quizziz” is in vocabulary learning and teaching when itis compared to traditional activities in classrooms. “Quizizz” has been chosento be applied in English classes with the aim of enhancing the vocabularyknowledge of the learners since it has a mobile application in play market ofAndroid and app store of IOS and can be used as a website through browsers on acomputer and; it offers live quizzes and online homework; it has been seen asthe best alternative. In this study, vocabulary exercises and assignments of A2learners will be executed through this app and will be compared with theresults of the traditional activities. 3.
2 ParticipantsThe participants of this study were 60students who studied at a university in Turkey. They all study at theengineering faculty. All of the participants were male and their proficiencylevel was pre-intermediate. They were first grade students and they weredivided into 2 groups whose teachers were different.
The first group was theexperimental group which used the app for 4 weeks and the other group was thecontrol group which went on learning vocabulary through traditional paper-basedactivities.3.3 Data AnalysisThe students get their English classes with the main course book of “Life 2”.Each unit has some vocabulary sections and the students are supposed to knowthe words there when they take their mid-term and final exams. At this point, 2groups studied these words in different ways mentioned above and finally, theytook an exam of 40 multiple choice items. The scores of this exam were used asthe data and analyzed to reach some results.
3.4 Procedures2 groups of 1st grade studentswho got their English classes from the same course book were selected to beinvestigated in this study. Because their classes were formed regarding theirproficiency level, these 2 groups had the same proficiency level; A2. The experimental group practiced thevocabulary on “Quizziz” on mobile phones while the control group was given vocabularyworksheet for 4 weeks. Every week, a worksheet and an online quiz of targetvocabulary were delivered to the students. The content of the materials of these2 groups were exactly same. After this process was completed, the students hadan exam, which included 40 multiple choice items and covered the previousworksheets and online quizzes, on this vocabulary and the scores of this examwere used as the data. 4.
ResultsThe control group scored 84,6667 in average and the experimental group scored 81,5833 in average. That is, the post-test showed thatstudents who practiced the vocabulary on mobile phones performed better thanthe control group who practiced it on paper-based activities. The scores of the 2 groups are given below. Between-Subjects Factors Value Label N Group 1 Experiment 30 2 Control 30 Descriptive Statistics Dependent Variable: Posttest Group Mean Std. Deviation N Experiment 84,6667 5,03151 30 Control 81,5833 4,42774 30 Total 83,1250 4,94943 60 Descriptive Statistics Dependent Variable: Pretest Group Mean Std. Deviation N Experiment 82,3333 6,05055 30 Control 80,9167 6,03450 30 Total 81,6250 6,03354 60 5.
Discussion and ConclusionIt is clear that vocabulary is vital inlanguage learning. It enhances the proficiency of learners and let themunderstand the language or express themselves in an easier way. That’s whylearning and teaching vocabulary is seen as one of the key abilities andteachers always should try to do their best to make their students learn thetarget vocabulary. At this point, 21st century offers us someadvantages such as learning through computers, mobile phones and online tools.Up to now, many studies have showed that mobile assisted language learningmakes learners start a positive attitude and enhance their motivation. In termsof proficiency, the students generally show a better performance if they usemobile apps to practice or learn the vocabulary regarding the previous studiesmade in this field.
The results of the study indicate that thecontrol group couldn’t outscore the experimental group. In other words, theexperimental group outperformed the other group by using a mobile app toenhance their vocabulary knowledge and learn the target vocabulary. However, asthe mean scores of the groups suggest, the difference between the scores of thegroups is not significant. This statement also gives an answer to the researchquestion of this study.
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