The mobile application is a powerful tool in advancing teaching and learning activities. However, previous works have scarcely addressed feasible instructional guidelines for instructors teaching foreign languages. Therefore, this action research has been carried out to examine the pedagogical aspects of mobile application integrated in foreign language teaching, particularly in Mandarin. It aims to improve an educator cum researcher’s educational practice to enhance learners’ oral performance, ultimately developing a set of instructional guidelines adapted to the local context. A group consists of 14 Mandarin, level 2 students at a higher institution was invited to participate and were identified through the technique of purposeful sampling. The qualitative instruments employed comprise teacher’s journals, oral assessments, diaries, and interviews with which the content and thematic analyses were conducted based on data collected.
The study indicates that there is positive feedback on the use of Web-Based and Socialisation-based smartphone applications among foreign language learners. Indeed, learners’ vocabulary in Mandarin substantially improved through the use of numerous Dictionary-Based applications. The learners were highly interested in mobile learning and thus improved their oral performance. The findings show that engaging with more language practices was a critical factor in improving their conversation skills. It also reveals that an educator’s managing skill would be vital for the success of an intervention. Henceforth, choosing the most appropriate mobile apps perfectly suitable for the content and learners’ diversity is the key to improving students’ oral performance. Another real discovery that emerges from the data entails the need to enhance the syllabus in compliance with the European Benchmarking. It should be noted, however, that the number of participants in the study is small; thus, the result should be viewed with considerable caution.
On the whole, integrating mobile apps in learning Mandarin as a foreign language offers multiple possibilities to solve emerging problems during the instructional process. Moreover, it encourages educators to consider the idea of self-observation as a continuous quality improvement mode in self-teaching, thus rewarding high-impact education.
Author: Nurul Ain Chua Abdullah
Size (inch): 10 x 7 x 0.3
Weight (book only): 290 g
Finishing: Softcover, perfect binding