The effects of technology-mediated L2 vocabulary learning: A meta-analysis

The effects of technology-mediated L2 vocabulary learning: A meta-analysis

First Author: Xinyuan Yang -- University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Additional authors/chairs: 
Zohreh Eslami; Li-Jen Kuo
Keywords: vocabulary learning, English Language Learners (ELL), Technology, Meta-analysis
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose. Although existing research syntheses have examined the effects of various types of educational technology in vocabulary learning for second language (L2) learners, these studies have produced mixed findings about the effectiveness of using technology in vocabulary learning (e.g. Abraham, 2008; Chen, Tseng, & Hsiao, 2016; Chiu, 2013; Perez, Noortgate, & Desmet, 2013), which varied across different types of technology being examined and the moderators included in the analysis. Further, a large body of research syntheses on technology-mediated L2 vocabulary learning have focused on university level, which has caused a relative lack of study on younger learners. To fill these gaps, the current meta-analysis examined the effects of using technology for L2 vocabulary learning among PreK-12 learners of English.
Method. A total of 24 studies published between 2008 and 2018 were included for analysis. The participant-related factors and study design factors were included for moderator analysis.
Results. Overall, the use of technology produced a moderate effect on L2 vocabulary learning; yet, such effectiveness was influenced by a series of factors such as participants’ language proficiency level, the types of vocabulary knowledge examined, and study duration etc. Further, a review of the study qualities has revealed areas of improvement for study designs.
Conclusions. With the growing body of research and practice on technology-mediated vocabulary learning, the effectiveness of these instructional approaches should be evaluated with caution, considering the study qualities, specific learning contexts, and target population. Implications for researchers and practitioners were discussed.