Evaluation of language learning apps used by undergraduates at Saudi universities

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Nojood Alwagdani
Alaa Almohammadi


With the rise in mobile phone language applications, their popularity among English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners has significantly grown. Despite the growing language app industry, there is limited research on the evaluation of these apps using a theory-driven approach. This study investigates the most frequently used language learning apps by EFL undergraduate students in Saudi universities and evaluates these apps based on the iPAC model. Data was collected using an online survey to determine the most commonly used language learning apps by EFL undergraduates and to examine the frequency and nature of language learning app usage. Then the most commonly used apps were evaluated using Burden et al.’s (2017) model (iPAC).  Data from 129 participants revealed that Duolingo and Shadowing are the most common apps used by participants. The participants’ perceptions of language learning apps are positive. Evaluating the apps using the iPAC model, it is found that they provide users with a personalized experience; however, neither app provides features for communication among learners. Duolingo’s users can only post answers on a discussion board, and they cannot communicate through other means, such as chats, microphones, or cameras. Shadowing does not support communication among users, as oral or written discussions among learners are not provided. This study has theoretical and pedagogical implications. This study not only highlights specific gaps in-app functionality but also discusses broader theoretical and pedagogical implications, proposing a more integrated approach to language learning technology.


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Alwagdani , N. ., & Almohammadi, A. (2024). Evaluation of language learning apps used by undergraduates at Saudi universities. Focus on ELT Journal, 6(2), 14–37. https://doi.org/10.14744/felt.6.2.2


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