The Role of Smartphone Applications as English Learning Tool among Chinese University Students

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Liu Mengjie, Nooreen Noordin , Lilliati Ismail , Nur Aira Abd. Rahim, Zeinab Zaremohzzabieh

Abstract

This study aims to explore the impact of smartphone applications on Chinese non-English majors’ out-of-class
English listening learning. The qualitative research method was adopted in this study. Four participants who attended the semistructured
interviews and five online diaries were selected to provide data for the research. The results demonstrate that th e
utilization of smartphone apps can indeed have a positive influence on Chinese non-English majors' out-of-class English
listening learning, and change their listening learning styles to a great extent. Fragmented learning time and informal learning
place were widely accepted by students due to the flexibility and portability of smartphone apps, which create more learning
opportunities for them and in turn lengthens their learning time. Rich, authentic, high-quality, and up-to-date listening
materials, English proficiency tests, and the function of recommendation offered by smartphone apps all provide a great
convenience for students. However, this technology is not yet mature and can be further developed by ameliorating some
negative factors, such as interference from other functions and applications of smartphones, small screens and reflected light,
and lack of guidance and feedback.

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