The Influence of Mobile-Assisted Language Learning (MALL) on Emirati Students’ Vocabulary Retention in one of the UAE Federal Universities

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
This dissertation aims to examine how mobile assisted learning can influence the students’ vocabulary retention. This includes the use of iPads and its smart mobile applications in classroom and how much students rely on them to retain the previously learned vocabulary. I have also investigated the use of online dictionaries to measure how effective they can be in a student’s learning journey. This study has been implemented on a group of students and their teachers in a federal university in the United Arab Emirates. The study was conducted on the English Language Program which offers 4 proficiency levels in a 5-cycles program, each cycle is 7 weeks long. During the research 14 teachers have kindly volunteered to be interviewed anonymously. They have also shared the vocabulary quiz results of their 244 students. Also, a 107 students have volunteered to take our online survey and shared with us their opinions on how did mobile technology and online dictionaries have influenced their vocabulary retention. The results show that mobile assisted devices and mobile applications do not necessarily improve students’ vocabulary retention as there are several factors may lead to retention improvement such as student’s intrinsic motivation, hard work and working memory. However, mobile devices still have a positive influence to some extent. Both teachers and students agree that online dictionaries do not improve students’ retention but they have a positive influence to some extent due to their affordance of Arabic meanings and visuals. Some explained that retention does not rely fully on test scores but it is related to practice and recycling productive language skills.  
mobile-assisted language learning (MALL), vocabulary retention, students’ retention, iPads, mobile tablets, blended learning, lexical approach, United Arab Emirates (UAE)