Investigating learner autonomy and vocabulary learning efficiency with MALL

Daly, Nigel P.
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University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center
Center for Language & Technology
(co-sponsored by Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning, University of Texas at Austin)
The road to second language competence is a long and arduous one, and much of its effort involves learning to recognize and use vocabulary. Fortunately, anytime-anywhere learning with smart phones and smart apps offer a means to lessen the burden and make vocabulary learning more efficient. Accordingly, this study investigated 134 students across four months and evaluated the effectiveness of their individual vocabulary learning strategies (only flashcard app; paper-based notes and wordlists; both notes and flashcard app) in terms of three different vocabulary test scores. The Kruskal-Wallis rank sum test and pairwise comparisons revealed that the Only App Group had significantly higher test scores than both the Only Notes Group and the blended Notes/App Group with medium and small effect sizes (r = 0.49 and 0.27, respectively). A Fixed Effects model was run to determine the extent study strategies in addition to gender, (TOEIC) proficiency, time spent studying, time spent using the app, and frequency of studying, were correlated with test scores. In this moderator analysis, the Only App Group strategy was no longer statistically significant and was replaced by the factor “total time using the app” (p = .005) which was positively correlated with test scores.
Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL), Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition, Intentional Learning, Autonomous Learning
Daly, N. P. (2022). Investigating learner autonomy and vocabulary learning efficiency with MALL. Language Learning & Technology, 26(1), 1–30.
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