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Title: An investigation into the use of the smartphone application 'Memrise' in supporting English vocabulary learning among undergraduate students in Saudi Arabia
Author: Almansour, A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7970 5272
Awarding Body: Liverpool John Moores University
Current Institution: Liverpool John Moores University
Date of Award: 2019
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This research investigated students' use and perception of value of the mobile smartphone application Memrise as a support to their vocabulary learning of the English as a Foreign Language (EFL). This study followed a mixed method sequential explanatory approach in which data were collected through questionnaire survey, pre and post tests and semi-structured interviews. The total participants (n=225) were learners at the Imam University in Saudi Arabia who had completed the basic entry year to study the language to degree level. Data gathered from the questionnaire (n= 205), pre and post-tests (n= 189) and semi-structured interviews (n= 11). Participants were provided with the questionnaire at the beginning of the semester and vocabulary pre-test. Then, participants were randomly divided into two groups Memrise and non-Memrise. The findings of the study showed a significance in the post-test scores for Memrise users. It was further made possible to identify vocabulary learning strategies that students use to learn with and without the use of mobile apps and the results were indicative of improved performance in test score achievement for those utilising the app functions which aided vocabulary knowledge accumulation and retention. The students were not schooled in the use of the functions of the software, simply advised where to access it, to ascertain evidence of its ease of use and enable conclusions to be drawn of the motivation to seek their own methods of learning. The evidence showed Memrise to be valuable in the support of traditional learning for students, improving performance beyond that achieved by institutional teacher guided learning. Essentially, a conclusion drawn from the qualitative interviews is that independence and autonomy in the practice of learning must be taught. This finding enables propositions to be developed to change the somewhat authoritarian teaching attitudes and practice prevalent in Saudi institutions. The study has, as such, achieved its objectives and it is expected to be submitted to the Saudi Ministry of Education in its review of the Vision 2030 initiative in 2020.
Supervisor: Mason, D. A. ; Brigitte, H. ; James, T. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: PE English ; QA76 Computer software