Shudong Wang

Shimane University


The impact of mobile learning on student English levels during long vacations


Japanese university students have two long vacations in a year: spring vacation; and summer vacation. Both exceed 40 days. This research explores the following issues related to English learning during vacations: 1) How does the English language ability of students change after a long vacation: does it stay the same, improve, or decline? 2) Face-to-face teaching is unlikely to be available during vacations, so will e-learning, especially of mobile learning, play a role in maintaining or even improving the English ability of students? In 2018 and 2019, before the summer vacation started, we surveyed 344 students, in total, by asking them if they had an English-learning plan for the coming summer vacation. In addition, we recruited 77 volunteer students - 30 in 2018 and 47 in 2019 - to follow several free online learning English programs – all compatible with mobile phones, so that they were able to continue to study English during their summer vocation. After the summer vacation, we administered a TOEIC test not only to verify the changes to the English level of the students during the long vacation but also of the efficacy of mobile learning. By analyzing the data from TOEIC tests taken before and after the summer vacations, coupled with the questionnaires, the questions above were answered: most students do not study English during long vacations and accordingly their English ability declines. Fortunately, however, mobile learning is effective in stopping the decline and it maintains, even improves, the English language level of students. (This research is partly supported by Kaken B Project, No. 17H02363 led by Prof. Aoki Nobuyuki, Hiroshima City University)