A look at the advanced learners' use of mobile devices for English language study: Insights from interview data





learner autonomy, mobile devices, advanced EFL learners, learning English


The paper discusses the results of a study which explored advanced learners of English engagement with their mobile devices to develop learning experiences that meet their needs and goals as foreign language learners. The data were collected from 20 students by means of a semi-structured interview. The gathered data were subjected to qualitative and quantitative analysis. The results of the study demonstrated that, on the one hand, some subjects manifested heightened awareness relating to the advantageous role of mobile devices in their learning endeavors, their ability to reach for suitable tools and retrieve necessary information so as to achieve their goals, meet their needs and adjust their learning of English to their personal learning styles, and on the other, a rather intuitive and/or ad hoc use of their mobile devices in the classroom.


Download data is not yet available.


Benson, P. (2001). Teaching and researching autonomy in language learning. Harlow: Pearson Education.

Benson, P. (2011). What's new in autonomy? The Language Teacher, 35(4), 15-18.

Benson, P. & Chik, A. (2010). New literacies and autonomy in foreign language learning. In M. J. Luzón, M. N. Ruiz-Madrid & M. L. Villanueva (Eds.), Digital genres, new literacies, and autonomy in language learning (pp. 63-80). Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Byrne, J. & Diem, R. (2014). Profiling mobile English language learners. The JALT CALL Journal I, 10 (1), 3-19.

Cakir, I. (2015). Opinions and attitudes of prospective teachers for the use of mobile phones in foreign language learning. Contemporary Educational Technology, 6(3), 239-255.

Cavus, N. & Ibrahim, D. (2009). m-Learning: An experiment in using SMS to support learning new English language words. British Journal of Educational Technology, 40(1), 78-91. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8535.2007.00801.x

Dashtestani, R. (2015). Moving bravely towards mobile learning: Iranian students' use of mobile devices for learning English as a foreign language. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 29(4), 815-832. https://doi.org/10.1080/09588221.2015.1069360

Demouy, V., Jones, A., Kan, Q., Kukulska-Hulme, A. & Eardley, A. (2016). Why and how do distance learners use mobile devices for language learning? The EuroCALL Review, 24(1), 10-24. https://doi.org/10.4995/eurocall.2016.5663

Díaz-Vera, J. (Ed.). (2012). Left to my own devices: Learner autonomy and mobileassisted language learning. Bingley, UK: Emerald Group.

Djoub, Z. (2015). Mobile technology and learner autonomy in language learning. In J. Keengwe (Ed.), Promoting active learning through the integration of mobile and ubiquitous technologies (pp. 194-212). Hershey: IGI Global. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-4666-6343-5.ch012

Dörnyei, Z. (2007). Research methods in applied linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Holec, H. (1981). Autonomy and foreign language learning. Oxford: Pergamon Press.

Jones, A. (2015). Mobile informal language learning: Exploring Welsh learners' practices, eLearning Papers, 45, 4-14.

Kukulska-Hulme, A., Norris, L. & Donohue, J. (2015). Mobile pedagogy for English language teaching: A guide for teachers. British Council, London.

Kukulska-Hulme, A. & Shield, L. (2008). An overview of mobile assisted language learning: From content delivery to supported collaboration and interaction. ReCALL, 20(3), 271-289. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0958344008000335

Kukulska-Hulme, A., Traxler, J. & Pettit, J. (2007). Designed and user-generated activity in the mobile age. Journal of Learning Design, 2(1), 52-65. https://doi.org/10.5204/jld.v2i1.28

Lee, L. (2011). Blogging: Promoting learner autonomy and intercultural competence through study abroad. Language Learning & Technology, 5, 87-109.

Little, D. (2009). Language learner autonomy and the European Language Portfolio: Two L2 English examples. Language Teaching, 42, 222-233. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261444808005636

Little, D. (1991). Learner autonomy 1: Definitions, issues and problems. Dublin: Authentik.

Littlewood, W. (1996). Autonomy: An anatomy and a framework. System, 24(4), 427-435. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0346-251X(96)00039-5

Miangah, T.M. & Nezarat, A. (2012). Mobile-assisted language learning. International Journal of Distributed and Parallel Systems, 3(1), 309-319. https://doi.org/10.5121/ijdps.2012.3126

Nah, K.C., White, P. & Sussex, R. (2008). The potential of using a mobile phone to access the internet for learning EFL listening skills within a Korean context. ReCALL, 20(3), 331-347. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0958344008000633

Oz, H. (2015). An investigation of preservice English teachers' perceptions of mobile assisted language learning. English Language Teaching, 8(2), 22-34. https://doi.org/10.5539/elt.v8n2p22

Pettit, J. & Kukulska-Hulme, A. (2007). Going with the grain: Mobile devices in practice. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 23(1), 17-33. https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.1271

Reinders, H. (2011). Towards an operationalisation of autonomy. In A. Ahmed, G. Cane & M. Hanzala. Teaching English in multilingual contexts: Current challenges, future directions (pp. 37-52). Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Reinders, H. & White, C. (2016). 20 years of autonomy and technology: How far have we come and where to next? Language Learning & Technology, 20(2), 143-154. Retrieved from http://llt.msu.edu/issues/june2016/reinderswhite.pdf.

Reinders, H. & Cho, M. (2011). Encouraging informal language learning with mobile technology: Does it work? Journal of Second Language Teaching and Research, 1, 3-29. https://doi.org/10.5420/jsltr.01.01.3317

Stockwell, G. (2007). Vocabulary on the move: Investigating an intelligent mobile phone-based vocabulary tutor. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 20(4), 365-383. https://doi.org/10.1080/09588220701745817

Trifanova, A., Knapp, J., Ronchetti, M. & Gamper, J. (2004). Mobile ELDIT: Challenges in the transitions from an e-learning to an m-learning system. Trento, Italy: University of Trento. Retrieved December 12, 2016, from http://eprints.biblio.unitn.it/archive/00000532/01/paper4911.pdf.

Zhang, H., Song, W. & Burston, J. (2011). Reexamining the effectiveness of vocabulary learning via mobile phones. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 10(3), 203-214.






Research papers