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Abstract

Over time, mobile devices have penetrated the classroom, requiring new and beneficial ways to implement classroom instruction. Research suggests that Short Message Service (SMS) based instruction is an effective tool for acquiring second language (L2) vocabulary and idiom knowledge (Hayati, Jalilifar, & Mashhadi; Lu,). Additionally, studies have found that students believe that mobile learning (m-learning) is beneficial to acquiring a second language (Cavus & Ibrahim; Hayati, Jalilifar, & Mashhadi; Lu, 2008). This study examined whether m-learning can lead to Spanish vocabulary familiarity and if sentence comprehension outperforms reading definitions. Participants were 29 native English speakers studying Spanish as a second language at the intermediate level. Learners received definitions of Spanish words in Spanish and sentences in Spanish on their mobile devices through a popular messaging application. The results demonstrate that vocabulary familiarity significantly improved and participants overall had a positive perception of m-learning. Our discussion explores the implications for classroom and mobile second language teaching.

Bio Note

Dr. Andrew DeMil is a Spanish professor at the University of Tampa. His area of expertise is second language acquisition and researches effective pedagogy for teaching and learning languages.

Alysha Assaf is pursuing a double major in Education and Spanish, and will graduate from the University of Tampa in 2021.

Dr. Ryan Cragun is a Sociology professor and Co-Director of the Honors Program at the University of Tampa.

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