Many previous studies confirmed that vocabulary size plays a key role in the learning processes of English as a foreign language (EFL), and the repetition strategy is still the most widely-used strategy for vocabulary learning. However, it has long been argued that the repetition strategy may make learners passive, or even indifferent, to their vocabulary learning. With the rapid development of information and communication technology (ICT), mobile game-based learning (MGBL) has been considered as a promising scheme for assisting learners in successfully acquiring and retaining knowledge. Thus, this study assesses the effects of utilizing PHONE Words, which is a novel mobile English vocabulary learning APP designed with game-related functions (MEVLA-GF) and without game-related functions (MEVLA-NGF), as a learning tool on learners' perceptions and learning performance. During the four-week experimental treatment, twenty sophomore students from the College of Liberal Arts of National Chengchi University were recruited as the research subjects and were randomly and averagely assigned into the experimental group using MEVLA-GF and the control group using MEVLA-NGF for vocabulary learning. Analytical results show that the learning performance of vocabulary acquisition and vocabulary retention in the experimental group were both significantly higher than those of control group. Moreover, results of the questionnaire survey confirm that MEVLA-GF generates higher effectiveness and satisfaction of facilitating English vocabulary learning than MEVLA-NGF does. Results of Pearson correlation analysis show that learners' involvements and dependence on gamified functions of MEVLA-GF were positively correlated with their vocabulary learning performance.
Proceedings of the International Conference on e-Learning, ICEL, 2016-January, 255-262