The design of technology-enhanced vocabulary learning: A systematic review

Keyi ZHOU, Fangzhou JIN, Weiwei LI, Zicong SONG, Xianhan Yvonne HUANG, Chin-Hsi LIN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


Some meta-analyses have confirmed the efficacy of technology-enhanced vocabulary learning. However, they have not delved into the specific ways in which technology-based activities facilitate vocabulary acquisition, or into first-language vocabulary learning. We conducted a systematic review that retrieved 1,221 journal articles published between 2011 and 2023, of which 40 met our inclusion criteria. Most of the sampled studies focused on teaching receptive vocabulary knowledge and vocabulary breadth. All utilized cognitive strategies. Their common design features included noticing and receptive or productive retrieval, and most implicitly drew upon dual-coding theory. Our findings highlight the need for a balanced approach to vocabulary learning, encompassing both vocabulary breadth and depth, as well as receptive and productive knowledge. They also suggest that affective and social learning strategies should be promoted alongside the cognitive ones that are currently dominant. Additionally, our identification of commonly and rarely used design features can guide curriculum designers to develop more effective tools. Lastly, we argue that the design of technology-enhanced learning should be theory-driven. Copyright © 2024 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature .

Original languageEnglish
JournalEducation and Information Technologies
Early online dateJan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jan 2024


Zhou, K., Jin, F., Li, W., Song, Z., Huang, X., & Lin, C.-H. (2024). The design of technology-enhanced vocabulary learning: A systematic review. Education and Information Technologies. Advance online publication.


  • Systematic review
  • Technology
  • Vocabulary learning
  • Vocabulary knowledge
  • Learning strategies
  • Design features
  • Learning theory


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