The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

WhatsApp as a tool for meaning negotiation: The use of web-enabled phones to consolidate vocabulary learning among university students in Saudi Arabia

WhatsApp as a tool for meaning negotiation: The use of web-enabled phones to consolidate vocabulary learning among university students in Saudi Arabia
WhatsApp as a tool for meaning negotiation: The use of web-enabled phones to consolidate vocabulary learning among university students in Saudi Arabia
The present study investigates the collaborative processes whereby learners of English use WhatsApp as a platform on smart phones to acquire new vocabulary. A review of the literature on mobile learning shows that a number of studies (Lu, 2008; Kennedy and Levy, 2008) conclude that vocabulary acquisition can be improved in this way yet fail to show what cognitive and social processes students employ to learn vocabulary and how learning might take place. In an attempt to fill this research gap, this study focusses on a group of 33 Saudi students from the English language department at a university in Saudi Arabia, who took part in an online class using WhatsApp as a tool to learn and use target vocabulary and to facilitate spontaneous interaction. It seeks to understand how teacher-student and student-student ‘chats’ lead to learning by analyzing the richness of their conversation in order to understand the dynamic of multiple variables to achieve learning.

The students received bite-sized vocabulary learning messages and took part in two WhatsApp discussion groups over a period of 5 weeks, in addition to their regular language classes. It also investigates the students’ acceptance of learning with the use of mobile phones and their readiness to implement it. The research uses a mixed methods approach, in which both quantitative and qualitative data were obtained, to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the participants’ vocabulary gain and of their engagement in the process. The WhatsApp chat conversations were analysed in order to understand how learners use this new medium to learn.

Findings showed that all students acquired vocabulary but at varying rates. Differences in vocabulary gain are attributed to many factors including variation in frequency and quality of contributions to the WhatsApp discussions, motivation to learn English, acceptance of mobile phones (WhatsApp) as a learning tool, and to individual self-regulation and individual differences.
University of Southampton
Batawi, Ghadah, Hassan
e7bcc5bd-2afc-41e7-9229-47a886fcbe12
Batawi, Ghadah, Hassan
e7bcc5bd-2afc-41e7-9229-47a886fcbe12
Wright, Vicky
5a4085ca-99b1-43d4-92e0-8b36edbcf93a
Zotzmann, Karin
83cb3ab3-c9cd-43c5-946e-cc48462ac234

Batawi, Ghadah, Hassan (2019) WhatsApp as a tool for meaning negotiation: The use of web-enabled phones to consolidate vocabulary learning among university students in Saudi Arabia. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 447pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

The present study investigates the collaborative processes whereby learners of English use WhatsApp as a platform on smart phones to acquire new vocabulary. A review of the literature on mobile learning shows that a number of studies (Lu, 2008; Kennedy and Levy, 2008) conclude that vocabulary acquisition can be improved in this way yet fail to show what cognitive and social processes students employ to learn vocabulary and how learning might take place. In an attempt to fill this research gap, this study focusses on a group of 33 Saudi students from the English language department at a university in Saudi Arabia, who took part in an online class using WhatsApp as a tool to learn and use target vocabulary and to facilitate spontaneous interaction. It seeks to understand how teacher-student and student-student ‘chats’ lead to learning by analyzing the richness of their conversation in order to understand the dynamic of multiple variables to achieve learning.

The students received bite-sized vocabulary learning messages and took part in two WhatsApp discussion groups over a period of 5 weeks, in addition to their regular language classes. It also investigates the students’ acceptance of learning with the use of mobile phones and their readiness to implement it. The research uses a mixed methods approach, in which both quantitative and qualitative data were obtained, to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the participants’ vocabulary gain and of their engagement in the process. The WhatsApp chat conversations were analysed in order to understand how learners use this new medium to learn.

Findings showed that all students acquired vocabulary but at varying rates. Differences in vocabulary gain are attributed to many factors including variation in frequency and quality of contributions to the WhatsApp discussions, motivation to learn English, acceptance of mobile phones (WhatsApp) as a learning tool, and to individual self-regulation and individual differences.

Text
LIBRARY COPY Thesis March 2019 - Version of Record
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.
Download (4MB)

More information

Published date: January 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 432270
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/432270
PURE UUID: c775654d-8219-48c4-9527-38554324e4d1

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 05 Jul 2019 16:30
Last modified: 05 Jul 2019 16:30

Export record

Contributors

Author: Ghadah, Hassan Batawi
Thesis advisor: Vicky Wright
Thesis advisor: Karin Zotzmann

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×