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A self-regulated and personalised vocabulary learning approach mediated by mobile technologies for university students

Project Scheme:
General Research Fund
Project Year:
2018/2019
Project Leader:
Dr MA, Qing
(Department of Linguistics and Modern Language Studies)
A self-regulated and personalised vocabulary learning approach mediated by mobile technologies for university students

This proposed research will address these issues by adding two key components, vocabulary pedagogy and enhanced personalisation, to an existing self-regulation model (Zimmerman, 2011).

A large proportion of mobile assisted language learning (MALL) takes place outside the classroom and university students frequently report that they are easily distracted by various external factors when using mobile devices for learning purposes. Effective learning of second language (L2) vocabulary hinges on the learners’ ability to self-regulate their learning. However, little research interest has been shown in how students self-regulate when they are left on their own to explore MALL. Personalisation also features in a number of mobile vocabulary learning applications in the form of intelligent design, but these do not necessarily improve learners’ ability to learn vocabulary following a personalised path determined by the learners themselves. Also, many learners do not possess sufficient pedagogical knowledge of how L2 vocabulary should be learned. This proposed research will address these issues by adding two key components, vocabulary pedagogy and enhanced personalisation, to an existing self-regulation model (Zimmerman, 2011). Based on this revised model, a self-regulated and personalised (SRP) vocabulary learning approach is developed and its effectiveness measured where the mobile technologies mediate, the vocabulary pedagogy informs and the personalisation shapes students’ L2 vocabulary learning. This research aims to help students develop a heightened capacity for self-regulation while using mobile technologies and appropriate pedagogical knowledge to learn L2 vocabulary more efficiently and effectively in the long term. This research will adopt a mixed-method design. An experimental design will be adopted to find out to what extent students can learn L2 vocabulary using the SRP approach in a mobile technology-mediated environment via a self-directed intervention for a period of one semester. It will also examine whether the self-directed SRP approach can help students learn L2 vocabulary receptively and productively better than those who adopt their usual learning approach. Personalised vocabulary tests at both receptive and productive levels will be developed for each participant to measure their learning outcome. In addition, a multi-case study will be conducted to provide qualitative evidence to verify whether the self-directed SRP approach can lead to a heightened capacity for self-regulation. The qualitative evidence collected can also be used to triangulate and validate the quantitative findings.