How Instagram as a MALL tool impacts EAP learners' technical vocabulary learning and perceptions in an electronic context

SN Soc Sci. 2023;3(4):70. doi: 10.1007/s43545-023-00657-z. Epub 2023 Apr 3.

Abstract

Mobile-assisted language learning (MALL) technology and the link it creates with language education domains made researchers interested in the plausible effects of MALL tools on English for academic purposes (EAP) students' language development. Likewise, this study investigated the effect of Instagram as a MALL tool on technical vocabulary knowledge of Iranian EAP university students (physical education major) in an electronic course conducted via Adobe Connect as well as their perceptions and attitudes toward Instagram. In a pretest-posttest quasi-experimental research design, 60 EAP university students at the intermediate level were randomly assigned to a control group and an experimental group who practiced technical vocabulary in physical education via different tasks on Instagram. Both groups participated in an online pretest and posttest of technical vocabulary, yet only the experimental group completed a questionnaire about their perceptions and attitudes toward Instagram. The repeated-measures two-way ANOVA on the test scores indicated that the experimental group outperformed the control group in learning technical vocabulary. Further, analysis of the responses to the questionnaire revealed positive perceptions and attitudes toward Instagram as a supplementary MALL tool for learning technical vocabulary. The findings encourage EAP instructors to use Instagram as an accessible MALL application to share their teaching materials with learners.

Keywords: Attitude; EAP; Instagram; MALL; Perception; Technical vocabulary.