iPads for Cognitive Skills in EFL Primary Classrooms: A Case Study in Saudi Arabia

  •  Jawza Alshammari    
  •  Ruth Reynolds    
  •  Kate Ferguson-Patrick    


This research study was designed to clarify the effectiveness of innovative technology use in order to develop cognitive skills in Saudi Arabia with particular focus on the use of iPads in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classes. New technology approaches are continually being implemented in educational environments but there is often lagging analysis as to the effectiveness of these approaches. In the context under review the implementation of iPads represented a significant shift from using paper and pen to using a portable touchpad and digital pen. This qualitative study comprising observations, interviews and focus groups with teachers and students in four primary EFL primary classrooms in Saudi Arabia. It aimed to investigate any links between EFL teaching approaches, revised Bloom’s Taxonomy of thinking skills and the use of iPads. The findings indicated an unevenness in the application of revised Bloom’s Taxonomy in English instruction generally and most iPad teaching practices were represented at lower order thinking levels (Remember, Understand and Apply). Also, flexible use of iPads when teaching-learning EFL represented levels of revised Bloom’s Taxonomy which aligns with specific roles of; teacher (T), teacher-student shared role (TS) and student (S) and plays a part in representing cognitive skills. These findings contribute to tablet devices use in language learning literature by highlighting the ‘how’ of EFL instruction based on revised Bloom’s Taxonomy.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.