Exploration and Exploitation of Mobile Apps for English Language Teaching: A Critical Review

  •  Julius Irudayasamy    
  •  Sani Yantandu Uba    
  •  Carmel Antonette Hankins    


With the progression of various mobile technologies, mobile applications have tremendously increased, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, and such applications have been exploited much in teaching and learning. This study explores the educational potential of using mobile applications in English language teaching (ELT) or Mobile Assisted Language Teaching (MALT). A critical review of the research in mobile applications in English language teaching is explored in this study, specifically from the published papers since 2015. Initially 131 articles were selected from ScienceDirect, SAGE, IEEEXplore, and Google Scholar. However, only 13 articles matched the inclusion criteria. These articles were analyzed and reviewed using the following categories: the role of mobile technology, pedagogical practices, research methodologies, the context of usage, and outcomes. The research found that mobile technologies in teaching language are increasing, and it is expected to rise in the future. In addition, teachers use different technologies to enhance English language teaching in the settings of inside and outside classrooms. During the COVID-19 pandemic, schools have closed indefinitely. This unexpected situation has forced students to stay at home, and online learning seems to grow exponentially. Thus, through this research review, significant educational outcomes are identified for future investigation practices.

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