A survey on saigon university efl students’ attitudes towards m - Learning

Mobile learning (M-learning) appears as the great mark of technological revolution 4.0, which supports

learners’ learning everywhere and every time. Although learning through smart and mobile devices is

expected to apply appropriately on teaching and learning, users’ attitudes towards application need to be

seriously assessed. This writing is to present EFL learners’ attitudes towards English M-learning

application through a survey on 50 EFL students at Saigon University by a questionnaire including 9

statements in the first semester of the school year 2018-2019 from November 5th, 2018 to November

19th, 2018. The quantitative approaches are used to collect the research data and the results showed that

students had positive attitudes towards M-learning application at Saigon University.

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TRƯỜNG ĐẠI HỌC SÀI GÒN SAIGON UNIVERSITY 
 TẠP CHÍ KHOA HỌC SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL 
 ĐẠI HỌC SÀI GÒN OF SAIGON UNIVERSITY 
 Số 64 (4/2019) No. 64 (4/2019) 
Email: tcdhsg@sgu.edu.vn ; Website: https://tapchikhoahoc.sgu.edu.vn 
70 
A SURVEY ON SAIGON UNIVERSITY EFL STUDENTS’ ATTITUDES 
TOWARDS M-LEARNING 
Khảo sát thái độ của sinh viên không chuyên tiếng Anh Trường Đại học Sài Gòn 
đối với hình thức học tiếng Anh qua các thiết bị di động (M-learning) 
ThS.NCS. Võ Thúy Linh 
Trường Đại học Sài Gòn 
Abstract 
Mobile learning (M-learning) appears as the great mark of technological revolution 4.0, which supports 
learners’ learning everywhere and every time. Although learning through smart and mobile devices is 
expected to apply appropriately on teaching and learning, users’ attitudes towards application need to be 
seriously assessed. This writing is to present EFL learners’ attitudes towards English M-learning 
application through a survey on 50 EFL students at Saigon University by a questionnaire including 9 
statements in the first semester of the school year 2018-2019 from November 5th, 2018 to November 
19th, 2018. The quantitative approaches are used to collect the research data and the results showed that 
students had positive attitudes towards M-learning application at Saigon University. 
Keywords: attitude, EFL students, M-learning, Saigon University 
Tóm tắt 
Phương thức học tập trên các thiết bị di động (M-learning) với tính năng vượt trội có hỗ trợ học tập mọi 
lúc, mọi nơi xuất hiện như một dấu ấn vĩ đại của cuộc cách mạng công nghệ 4.0. Mặc dù M-learning 
được đánh giá cao và mong đợi sớm được ứng dụng trong dạy và học ngày nay, nhưng thái độ tiếp nhận 
của người sử dụng rất cần được xác định nghiêm túc đảm bảo tính cần thiết và đáp ứng thực tiễn của 
hình thức học tập mới này. Mục đích bài viết này mô tả lại cuộc khảo sát về thái độ đón nhận của sinh 
viên học tiếng Anh không chuyên đối với việc ứng dụng M-learning trong việc học tiếng Anh tại 
Trường Đại học Sài Gòn. Cuộc khảo sát được tiến hành trên 50 sinh viên trong 2 tuần (5/11/2018-
19/11/2018) với bảng hỏi gồm 9 câu hỏi và 5 mức độ trả lời cho sẵn ở mỗi câu. Phương pháp định 
lượng, dữ liệu từ bảng hỏi được thu thập và phân tích, kết quả khảo sát cho thấy hầu hết sinh viên có 
thái độ tích cực đối với việc ứng dụng M-learning dành cho việc học tiếng Anh không chuyên tại 
Trường Đại học Sài Gòn. 
Từ khoá: thái độ, sinh viên không chuyên Anh, học tập trên các thiết bị di động, Trường Đại học Sài Gòn 
1. Introduction 
English has been international 
communicative instrument of human today. 
Learning English is really necessary; 
however, it is difficult for busy learners 
who are plentiful of ages, levels, jobs, 
etc. In fact, they have no time to acquire 
and practice English at class. English 
fluency cannot be obtained among busy 
and crowded situation of current education 
Email: vtlinh@sgu.edu.vn 
VÕ THÚY LINH TẠP CHÍ KHOA HỌC ĐẠI HỌC SÀI GÒN 
71 
and society in Vietnam generally, Ho Chi 
Minh City particularly, especially, for 
college non English majored students (EFL 
learners) who learn basic English at Sai 
Gon University; yet, their English scores of 
the exams still fall at four and five (mark 
lists from Department Academic Affairs of 
SGU, 2018). This does not meet English 
fluency requirements for students. Besides, 
through practical observation, EFL 
students need an active and convenient 
learning approach that can help them learn 
English every time and everywhere 
because they have to spend time for other 
subjects beside English. In fact, mobile 
devices like smart phones, Ipads, laptops, 
etc. can provide the big wealth of 
knowledge through the internet as well as 
learning opportunities for the learners at 
different levels conveniently (Trinh, 2014: 
23). By the profits of mobile devices, 
certainly, M-learning system is expected to 
be operated at educational institutes in 
Vietnam, especially, at Sai Gon University. 
However, the students’ preparation for this 
learning mode needs to be explored 
carefully. Therefore, the author conducts 
this survey to assess EFL students’ 
acceptance through their behaviors for M-
learning, the research setting is at SGU. 
The main task of this research is to answer 
the following research question “To what 
extent are EFL students acceptable for 
learning English through mobile device 
(M-learning)?” and suggest some other 
aspects for the next M-learning application 
studies. As the present research’s topic, 
there are many prior studies employed by 
previous authors in Vietnam and in the 
world like Vo et al. (2017), Khanh and 
Gim (2014), Pollara (2011), Aish and Love 
(2013), Kuciapski (2016), etc. However, 
these studies only survey the perceptions, 
attitudes, and acceptance of English 
majored students in higher educational 
institutions without investigating into the 
acceptance or psychology of EFL students 
for this new learning approach. Thus, this 
survey was conducted to fill in this gap and 
collect new results on EFL learners’ 
readiness for M-learning as well as to 
provide another source of reference for 
further research. 
2. Theoretical review on mobile learning 
2.1. Definition of mobile learning 
The term “M-learning” has been 
defined as “Any sort of learning that 
happens when the learner is not at a fixed, 
predetermined location, or learning that 
happens when the learner takes advantage 
of the learning opportunities offered by 
mobile technologies” (O’Malley et al. 
2003: 6). It has seen that the exponential 
development of mobile devices 
accompanied their smart functions to 
support learners’ learning everywhere and 
every time. In order to implement the 
perfect M-learning application, a lot of 
details need to be completed, this paper 
only focuses on students’ technology 
acceptance of M-learning and suggestions 
for further studies. For these aims, the 
discuss relationship between M-learning 
and learning English of students, some 
ideas are explained in the next sections. 
2.2. The role of M-learning for 
learning English 
After many related researches, M-
learning is seen as the precious and great 
invention in education globally. Chen et 
al., (2002) realize unique features of 
mobile technology with benefits which are 
SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL OF SAIGON UNIVERSITY No. 64 (4/2019) 
72 
not supplied through other distance 
learning technology in scaffold-learning. 
Therefore, in learning English, learners can 
be supported significantly by M-learning 
thank to its benefits as the multimedia 
access tools, connectivity tools, capture 
tools in teaching and learning. In addition, 
and in language teaching and learning, 
Naismith et al. (2004, p. 36) indicate that 
M-learning would initiate a kind of “highly 
situated, personal, collaborative and long 
term; in other words, truly learner-centered 
learning”. Furthermore, Chen et al., (2002) 
also emphasize that such useful 
characteristics can support students’ 
motivation, encourage their sense of 
responsibility, improve their commitment 
and promote learners’ learning. Moreover, 
M-learning offers active and experiential 
learning English opportunities allowing 
quick note taking through photos, sound 
and video recording. 
In spites of useful characteristics, M-
learning exists some usefulness for 
learning English in particular and in 
general education, for example, the small 
size of mobile devices that help users take 
and learn English anytime and anywhere, 
make users are used to working and 
touching all time without concentrating 
others surround. Furthermore, using mobile 
devices connected wifi causes 
disadvantages on their eyes and brain, etc. 
Therefore, learners need to be careful and 
balance to use mobile devices for their 
learning reasonable and effective. 
From the relationship between M-
learning and learning English of students 
as well as usefulness and challenges of M-
learning on learning English, mobile 
devices provide dynamic and positive 
environment for students to learn English 
everywhere and every time. With this aim 
in mind, the researcher follows Technology 
Acceptance Model (TAM) (Davis, 1986: 
24) to design questionnaire contents, this 
model’s contents are described in the next 
section. 
2.3. Technology Acceptance Model TAM) 
Theoretically, Davis et al. (1989) 
explores the Technology Acceptance 
Model (TAM) with the purpose to measure 
the perceived usefulness and ease of use 
among technology handlers. Napitupulu et 
al. (2017: 698) suppose that the TAM has 
been seen as an important research model 
for evaluating the factors of attitudes 
formed from two factors of perceived ease 
of use and perceived usefulness of users. 
And it is the most adopted model due to 
both imply users’ perceptions of ease and 
usefulness of mobile technology in 
teaching and learning, which is displayed 
by the learners’ attitudes towards learning 
through mobile technology. Hence, the 
researcher will refer this theory to design 
questionnaire for survey on EFL learners’ 
acceptance for M-learning at Saigon 
University. The TAM is described 
following: 
VÕ THÚY LINH TẠP CHÍ KHOA HỌC ĐẠI HỌC SÀI GÒN 
73 
Figure 1. Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) (Davis et al., 1986: 24). 
3. Research Methodology 
In the light of this survey description, 
the participants majoring of Pre school 
education, Primary school education, 
mathemetic pedagogy, etc, are randomly 
grouped of 50 college EFL sophomores who 
learn basic English 2. The survey was 
conducted within two weeks of the first 
semester 2018-2019 from November 5th, 
2018 to November 19th, 2018 at Sai Gon 
University. The quantitative used to collect 
data from questionnaire with 10 statements 
arranged correlatively (15 minutes). The 
purpose of the questionnaire is to evaluate 
EFL students’ acceptance for M-learning, 
with a focus on some aspects of (1) students’ 
mobile device ownership, (2) awareness of 
students for M-learning, (3) behavior of 
students for M-learning. Each statement has 
five Likert scales for the participants to 
choose their ideas by writing only a tick into 
one cell of idea columns, Strongly agree 
(SA), Agree (A), No ideas (NI), Disagree 
(DA), and Strongly disagree (SA). 
4. Results and discussion 
The contents of the questionnaire are 
to answer the research question “To what 
extent are EFL students acceptable for 
learning English through mobile device 
(M-learning)?” The researcher analyzes the 
proportion of the participants’ ideas for 
each statement to appraise their behavior 
and acceptance on M-learning, which is 
summarized in the Table 1 below. 
Table1: Participants’ answers for questionnaire 
Statement SA A NI D SD 
1. I am using a mobile device. 98% 0% 2% 0% 0% 
2. My mobile device can connect the Internet/wireless. 100% 0% 0% 0% 0% 
3. I usually use my mobile phone for learning English. 0% 5% 6% 86% 5% 
4. I have ever heard about learning English through mobile learning. 97% 0% 0% 3% 0% 
5. M-learning is a new learning approach. 100% 0% 0% 0% 0% 
6. M-learning is able to support my learning English. 100% 0% 0% 0% 0% 
7. I think M-learning is convenient for my learning. 100% 0% 0% 0% 0% 
8. I think M-learning make me learn more comfortably. 96% 0% 0% 0% 4% 
9. I want to have an opportunity to learn English through mobile devices. 100% 0% 0% 0% 0% 
SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL OF SAIGON UNIVERSITY No. 64 (4/2019) 
74 
As for statement 1, 98% of the 
students own mobile devices. And 100% of 
them strongly agreed with statement 2. 
Both figures show that students own 
mobile devices are able to connect internet 
or wifi, obviously, equipment condition is 
ready for students to receive learning 
English through M-learning. 
In responding to statement three, 5% 
of the participants strongly disagreed, and 
86% disagreed with it. At the fourth one, 
the majority of the participants heard about 
M-learning (97%). It is seen that the 
majority of students have heard, known 
and experienced to learn English via smart 
phones. This means students have ever 
seemed to think and expect M-learning in 
their learning. It is not difficult for students 
to approach and show how they behave and 
consider M-learning for next items. 
Moreover, all students strongly agreed 
with statements 5 and 6. They indicated 
that M-learning is a new learning mode, 
and they believe in the usefulness of M-
learning for their English improvement 
(100%). Statement 7 also had the same 
percentage (100% of the students strongly 
agreed with this statement). It was 
concluded that most of the students had 
positive attitudes towards M-learning and 
they believed that M-learning could bring 
benefits to the learners because with this 
learning approach they were able to study 
English anytime and anywhere. 
With regard to statement 8, the 
participants strongly agreed that it was 
convenient to learn English through M-
learning (96% of the students strongly 
agreed with this statement). They all 
agreed that it was motivating to learn 
English through mobile devices. And they 
all expressed their willingness to use 
mobile devices to learn English, which 
shown through the rate 100% of strongly 
agree in the statement 9. 
It is indicated that the participants 
considered M-learning as a new learning 
approach. In addition, they demonstrated 
positive attitude toward the use of M-
learning in English language learning. 
5. Conclusion and suggestion 
To sum up, the questionnaire results 
satisfactorily answered the research 
question “To what extent are EFL students 
acceptable for learning English through 
mobile device (M-learning)?” Based on 
data analysis, it was revealed that students’ 
attitude for M-learning acceptance was 
positive, they believe that mobile devices 
are useful (Perceived usefulness) and using 
mobile is ease (Perceived ease of use), 
thus, the majority of students tend to using 
their mobile devices to learn English 
(Intention to use). They were ready to learn 
English through this learning approach. 
As far as limitations are concerned, 
this paper only focused on EFL students’ 
acceptance for M-learning on English. M-
learning application for teaching and 
learning other subjects needs to be 
explored. Especially, further studies on the 
implementation of M-learning for all the 
subjects at Saigon University should be 
conducted to expand the learning space for 
students. Teaching contents for M-learning 
should also be designed under favorable 
school policies. 
VÕ THÚY LINH TẠP CHÍ KHOA HỌC ĐẠI HỌC SÀI GÒN 
75 
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Ngày nhận bài: 03/3/2019 Biên tập xong: 15/4/2019 Duyệt đăng: 20/4/2019 

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