An investigation of university students’ perceptions and acceptance of mobile technology use in learning English as a second language in China

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

Abstract
Due to the tremendous advancement of mobile technologies, mobile assisted English language learning (MAELL) has become an increasingly emergent research area. English is taught as a key subject in the national curriculum from primary education until the second year of university in China. Proficiency of English has great value for individuals and on a societal level. Moving beyond the ‘mobile age’ and ‘digital native’ rhetoric, the objective of this present paper is to investigate university students’ perceptions and acceptance of mobile technology use in second language learning in higher education. The study also aims to investigate whether cultural factors affect these perceptions. The research is conducted in a Chinese comprehensive university in Harbin, adopting a quantitative research design. Data will be obtained by means of questionnaires distributed to approximately 739 undergraduates. To access students’ perceptions of mobile technology use in language learning, I have employed and extended Venkatesh, Morris, Davis and Davis’s Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT), which is a synthesis of eight well-established technology acceptance models and has been validated in empirical settings as having superior explanatory power over other single models. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions have also been drawn upon to understand learners’ cultural perceptions. These dimensions represent some relevance to the mindset of learners which is likely to affect to some degree students’ attitude towards mobile learning or English as a second language learning to some degree. This theoretical position places learners at the centre of their English learning and decision-making regarding technology use. It directs the investigation into contextually mediated perceptions and practices of English learning in the mobile age. The findings illustrate the general trend of undergraduates’ positive perceptions of mobile-assisted English language learning in China, as well as specific attributes that may affect their contextually mediated perceptions from a cultural perspective. The findings show that the participants’ attitude towards mobile learning are very positive, especially regarding ‘performance expectancy’ and ‘social influence’. The statistical analysis also suggests that Hofstede’s cultural characteristics could partially explain the diversified learners’ perceptions of mobile learning. This paper provides a theoretical framework that challenges the current existing beliefs about technology acceptance models by extending culture as a key moderating construct, leading to a comprehensive understanding of university students’ perceptions and behaviours concerning mobile-assisted language learning in China. The paper concludes by suggesting ways or approaches to maximise the learning potential of mobile technologies for English learners in higher education (HE) in China.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'An investigation of university students’ perceptions and acceptance of mobile technology use in learning English as a second language in China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this