An evidence-based study of Hong Kong University students’ mobile assisted language learning (MALL) experience

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Mobile technologies are ubiquitous and credited with “learning anytime, anywhere” in higher education. They help to connect students’ in-class and outside class language learning experience. Recently, the constant updates of smartphones such as the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy series and the fast development of language learning software/apps, together with mobile devices (e.g. netbooks, tablet PCs, PDAs, etc.), have greatly enriched students’ language learning experience in higher education. The situation in Hong Kong is even more advanced due to the wide availability of relatively cheap data packages for smartphones with Internet access. Research on MALL has focused on theoretical conceptualizations, practical guidance and empirical studies which often feature a researcher or teacher-led mobile language course/programme. A recurrent theme in most MALL related studies is that there is a huge potential for mobile devices equipped with online technologies to become a great source for language learning. With the mobility available to learners in terms of both hand-held devices and access to network, they can explore and experiment language learning in a kaleidoscope-like world with virtually unexhausted learning resources. However, less interest has been shown in evaluating students’ learning when they are left on their own to explore MALL. The current study attempts to address this gap by providing an evidence-based evaluation approach that emphasizes how learners explore, self-regulate and self-evaluate their own learning. This study will make use of data from multiple resources, including questionnaires, interviews, guided self-reflections and concrete learning evidence (e.g. screen shots of website/apps or e-notes) provided by students. Such an evidence-based rich study can help facilitate students’ deep, critical self-evaluation of their MALL experience as well as help to identity their weak and strong areas in both language learning and mobile technology use.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


Hong Kong
learning software
language course


Ma, Q., & Wang, L. (2013, July). An evidence-based study of Hong Kong University students’ mobile assisted language learning (MALL) experience. Paper presented at the 4th WorldCALL Conference, Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, Glasgow, UK.