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Reexamining the Effectiveness of Vocabulary Learning via Mobile Phones

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Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology Volume 10, Number 3, ISSN 1303-6521


The purpose of this study is to reexamine the effectiveness of vocabulary learning via mobile phones. Students (N=78) from two intact classes of sophomores at a Chinese university were assigned to two groups: the SMS group (the experimental group) and the paper group (the control group). Then, they were administered a pretest to identify the level of their prior vocabulary knowledge. The results revealed that there was no significant difference (p greater than 0.05) between the SMS group (Mean=33.34, SD=14.30) and the paper group (Mean=37.13, SD=15.21). Next, they were put into two intervention conditions. The SMS group studied a selected list of vocabulary via mobile phone SMS text messages while the paper group worked on the same list of vocabulary through paper material in a self-regulated manner. Results showed that there was a significant difference (p less than 0.05) in the posttests but not in the delayed tests (p greater than 0.05) between the two groups. The study concludes that vocabulary learning through these two methods is effective in their own way and that a blended approach to vocabulary learning may better help increase the effectiveness from the perspective of sustained retention rates. Finally, the limitations of this study and suggestions for future studies are discussed. (Contains 1 table.)


Zhang, H., Song, W. & Burston, J. (2011). Reexamining the Effectiveness of Vocabulary Learning via Mobile Phones. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 10(3), 203-214. Retrieved August 11, 2020 from .

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