Paper Example. Practical Research on Mobile-Assisted Language Teaching in China Universities

Published: 2023-09-24
Paper Example. Practical Research on Mobile-Assisted Language Teaching in China Universities
Essay type:  Argumentative essays
Categories:  Learning Electronics Asia Language development
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1544 words
13 min read

Mobile-assisted language learning is one of the areas that show the benefit of integrating technology into education.

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Mobile learning can be useful in many forms of education, such as online learning (Palalas, 2011). Mobile learning serves different roles in the learning process; it can supplement, complement, or act as a substitute for the learning process. Mobile-assisted language learning is an element of mobile learning that involves the use of mobile devices to facilitate language acquisition (Burston, 2013). The globalization of China has created the need for universities to produce graduates proficient in foreign languages such as English.

However, there is still a more significant drawback in second language learning because foreign language classes are teacher-centered. The passive role of students in language classes is a great challenge in the learner's ability to control the learning process.

Many Chinese universities have not fully integrated mobile-assisted language learning despite accessibility to technology devices such as mobile phones.

Research questions

  • How can mobile-assisted language learning be fully integrated into the teaching of foreign languages such as English in Chinese universities?
  • What is the impact of mobile-assisted language learning in teaching a foreign language?
  • What are the challenges experienced in mobile learning that affect the full implementation of mobile-assisted language learning in china universities?

Problem Statement and Research Objectives

Numerous researchers have evaluated the importance of MALL. However, the application of the approach differs between countries characterized by the challenges experienced in mobile learning implementation. Every country has its own set of challenges. Therefore, developing an approach based on a country with a different political and social structure makes the full implementation of mobile-assisted language learning a challenge (Yang, 2013). The state of MLLA in china is still underdeveloped because the research conducted has been based on different countries rather than explicitly understanding how to integrate the technology in the Chinese context. In summary, it is necessary to understand the challenges facing mobile-assisted language learning in China and how to implement it. Thus, the study has the following objectives;

  • To comprehensively review how mobile-assisted language learning can be fully integrated into the teaching of foreign languages such as English in Chinese universities.
  • To analyze mobile-assisted language learning in china by looking at the problems affecting its implementation in Chinese universities.
  • To establish the challenges that are affecting the full application of mobile-assisted language learning in china universities.

Literature review

The introduction of mobile-assisted learning can be integrated into education as a tool to facilitate learning. Mobile devices are equipped with various applications such as YouTube to effectively present the target language (Godwin-Jones, 2011). As posited by Sung, Chang &Yang (2015), it has been established that MLLA provides students with suitable learning opportunities in class and outside classrooms. In a study conducted by Sung, Chang & Liu (2016) that centered on the impact of vocabulary learning through the use of mobile devices. It was concluded that mobile-assisted learning has positive results of about 80%. Therefore, mobile-assisted language learning shows that mobile devices are a useful tool in language learning. Valk, Rashid & Elder (2010) assert that mobile assisted language learning in vocabulary learning allows students to be exposed to re-edited vocabularies, which are more effective in learning the vocabularies of a foreign language.

Although china boosts of technological advancement in handsets, most of the studies conducted have revealed that mobile-assisted language leaning in china is not a much-developed field. As compared to countries such as the United States, which have invested a lot into MALL, the field still faces numerous challenges. China is still rooted in the Confucius culture, which has affected the full implementation of means to improve English learning. As postulated by Aubusson, Schuck & Burden (2009), there is a challenge with the in-service training of English teachers in colleges, making most of them unaware of how they can implement technology in teaching foreign languages. The same is also supported by Chen & Goh (2011), who asserts that research in mobile-assisted language learning in China is not well established. As such, various issues that might make the use of mobile-assisted technology successful remains a problem. According to Chen & Goh (2011), most of the university English teachers get into the teaching profession without a better understanding of the second language learning theories. As such, most teachers continue to adopt traditional teacher-centered approaches, limiting the students' ability to learn the second language (Yang, 2013). The Chinese culture makes students assume a perceived role in the learning environment and, therefore, methods that will make them think a dominant position is not fully embraced. There are other challenges in the failure to implement ICT in schools in china effectively. The above problem mainly results from ineffective institutional and national policies that bar the full integration of technology in learning.

The integration of mobile-assisted language majorly relies on the student's and teachers' preparedness. According to Stockwell (2008), MALL can complement the teaching of foreign languages when it is taken to the real world. The author further posits that students do not always learn a new language in classrooms, but they can learn it when they desire using mobile devices. However, the achievement of MALL objectives relies on the teacher's and students' readiness for mobile learning. According to Miangah & Nezara (2012), preparation involves adaptability to challenges and practical training. In research conducted by Eltayeb & Hegazi (2011), the research findings showed that teachers and learners should be ready to use mobiles in learning. As such, the implementation of mobile-assisted language learning needs to start with the preparedness of teachers and the students on how best to use mobile phones in learning.

According to iberg & Grönlund (2013), students have also indicated their concern about the lack of support in the use of mobile phones in an informal setting. Implementation of mobile-assisted language learning must also look at how the students can be assisted when using the devices when out of class ( Oz, 2015). Learners are at the center of integrating technology into learning. Implementation of MLLA should be concerned with technological mobility, but there are crucial issues such as time and learning experience that also need to be considered.

Significance of the Study

Mobile assisted language learning has proved to be a useful tool in learner's language acquisition. The study will help understand mobile-assisted language learning in china by looking at the challenges that have made it challenging to implement the technology entirely. As such, the study will address problems specific to the Chinese context and provide proposals of how the challenges can be overcome. The analysis will be based on how mobile assisted language learning impact language acquisition.


The research method that will be used will be qualitative, involving the qualitative approaches of collecting data. The study will be based on secondary data, explicitly scholarly resources that talk about mobile-assisted language learning. A survey will also be conducted involving teachers and students on their perception of mobile-assisted language learning. It will include structured interviews with students and teachers, where mobile assisted language learning is already being practiced to assess its impact.


Aubusson, P., Schuck, S., & Burden, K. (2009). Mobile learning for professional teacher learning: benefits, obstacles, and issues, 17 (3), 233-247. doi:10.1080/09687760903247641

Burston, J. (2013). Mobile-assisted language learning: A selected annotated bibliography of implementation studies 1994–2012. Language Learning & Technology, 17(3), 157-224.

Chen, Z., & Goh, C. (2011). Teaching oral English in higher education: challenges to EFL teachers. Teaching in Higher Education, 16 (3), 333 – 345. doi:10.1080/13562517.2010.546527

Eltayeb,H. M., & Hegazi, M.O.A. (2014) Mobile Learning Aspects and Readiness. International Journal of Computer Applications (11).

Godwin-Jones, R. (2011). Emerging technologies: Mobile apps for language learning. Language Learning & Technology, 15(2), 2-11.

Hu, Z., & McGrath, I. (2011). Integrating ICT into College English: An implementation study of national reform. Education and Information Technologies, 17 (2), 147 – 165. doi:10.1007/s10639-011-9153-0

iberg, O., & Grönlund, Å. (2013) A cross-cultural analysis of users' attitudes toward mobile devices in second and foreign language learning in higher education: A case from Sweden and China. Computers & Education, 69: 169–180.

Miangah, T. M., & Nezarat, A. (2012). Mobile-assisted language learning. International Journal of Distributed and Parallel Systems, 3(1), 309-319.

Oz, H. (2015). An Investigation of Preservice English Teachers’ Perceptions of Mobile Assisted Language Learning. English Language Teaching, 8(2), 22-35.

Palalas, A. (2011). Mobile-assisted language learning: Designing for your students. In S. Thouësny & L. Bradley (Eds.), Second language teaching and learning with technology: views of emergent researchers (pp. 71-94). Dublin:

Stockwell, G. (2008) Investigating learner preparedness for and usage patterns of mobile learning. ReCALL, 20(3): 253–270.

Sung, Y.-T., Chang, K.-E. & Yang, J.-M. (2015) How effective are mobile devices for language learning? A meta-analysis. Educational Research Review, 16: 68–84.

Sung, Y.-T., Chang, K.-E. and Liu, T.-C. (2016) The effects of integrating mobile devices with teaching and learning on students' learning performance: A meta-analysis and research synthesis. Computers & Education, 94: 252–275.

Valk, J.-H., Rashid, A. T., & Elder, L. (2010). Using mobile phones to improve educational outcomes: An analysis of evidence from Asia. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 11(1), 117-140.

Yang, J. (2013). Mobile assisted language learning: review of the recent applications of emerging mobile technologies. English Language Teaching, 6(7), 19-25.

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