The Effect of Socio-Economic Status on Informal Mobile-Assisted Language Learning


Japan is known as a highly technological proficient country with a wealthy population. However, since the 1990s, the country has been in economic recession. Currently, one in six Japanese children lives under the poverty line. This growing socio-economic gap reduces the chances these children have to gain access to quality education and the technical skills necessary to thrive in the modern world. In particular, English language skills are important for success in a wide range of careers. For this reason, it is important to examine how socio-economic status affects language learning with technology. In this study, the researcher investigated the role of socio-economic status on acceptance and usage of mobile devices for the purpose of informal language learning. Data were collected at a private and public university through a paper-based survey instrument and semi-structured interviews. The questionnaire included the following sections: (1) acceptance of mobile devices for informal English learning, (2) usage of mobile devices for informal English learning, (3) demographics, and, (4) open-ended questions. The results of the survey were analyzed quantitatively using descriptive and inferential statistics and open-ended questions were analyzed through open coding. After collecting these data, several students were asked to participate in semi-structured interviews to delve deeper into the answers they provided on the questionnaire. The results of this study showed that there was a significant difference in usage of informal mobile-assisted language learning between students who were economically advantaged and those who were not.

Author Information
Megumi Kohyama, University of Shiga Prefecture, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: IICEHawaii2018
Stream: Design, Implementation & Assessment of Innovative Technologies in Education

This paper is part of the IICEHawaii2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon