Experiences and Preferences of Chinese EFL Students in Vocabulary Learning and Mobile Applications in Vocabulary Learning in a Private International University in China

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Xue Tao
Prannapha Modehiran


With the acceleration of technology and social information, mobile phones have become an indispensable part of college students’ life and studies. The use of mobile applications renders benefits to vocabulary learning and teaching. This study aimed to investigate the experiences and preferences of Chinese EFL students in a private international university in China using mobile phone applications in vocabulary learning. The participants included 123 second-year English major volunteer students who responded to the needs analysis questionnaire. The results revealed that, for the students’ experiences, despite a mandatory requirement to achieve the national vocabulary test level-4, the Test of English Major Band-4 (TEM-4), students had poor performance in vocabulary, both receptive and productive due to the lack of learning tenacity and functional learning methods of vocabulary. They showed the requisites to master a proper way to learn words using mobile applications. For their preferences, the students preferred learning words through activities combined with audio-video and notes. At the same time, students also liked to use learning-oriented mobile applications, E-dictionary and WeChat, to learn vocabulary. The current research would lay the foundation for the subsequent research on designing a teaching mode by using mobile applications to improve students’ vocabulary size.

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