The Effect of Computer-assisted Language Learning (CALL) on Immediate and Delayed Retention of Vocabularies in General English Course

Mozhgan Sedaghatkar


Vocabulary learning is essential for language acquisition; however, it is considered problematic for the second language learners. As a teacher of General English Course, I witness majority of students state that "It’s difficult for me to remember long words", "I rapidly forget new words", "I frequently repeat words", etc. As a matter of fact, learning vocabulary is one of the most boring tasks that language learners face with. Hence, different ways have been tried towards making vocabulary learning easier. In this regard, recent years have shown an interest in using computers for foreign language teaching and learning. A previous decade, the use of computers in the language classroom was of concern only to a small number of specialists. However, with the introduction of multimedia computing and the Internet, the role of computers in language teaching has now become a key issue that great numbers of language teachers throughout the world face with. In this regard, the present study sought to investigate the effect of computer assisted language learning (CALL) on immediate and delayed retention of vocabularies among Iranian university students in General English Course. In this regard, 58 students from Payam Noor University of Aradan and Garmsar, Iran, were selected at random on the basis of Nelson test and then were divided into experimental and control groups each one including 29 students. A vocabulary test (as a pretest) was administered to the subjects in both groups. The goal was to check what words were unknown to the subjects in both groups. After the administration of the vocabulary test, about 21 words out of 114 new words were omitted since these words were known to the subjects in both groups. During the study, the researcher taught each group in 3 sessions (each session 90 minutes). After completion of each session, both groups were assessed through an immediate posttest. The subjects were also assessed for delayed posttest one month after teaching sessions (posttest 2). The results obtained throughout the study indicated that there was a significant difference between CALL users and nonusers in favor of the experimental group (p<0.05). It was also concluded that the university students had a positive attitude toward using CALL for learning vocabulary. In light of the findings of the study, the effectiveness of CALL on immediate and delayed retention of vocabularies was approved. 


vocabulary learning, immediate retention, delayed retention, CALL, General English

Full Text:



Abu-Seileek, A. (2004). Designing a Computer assisted Language learning program and testing its Effectiveness on students' writing ability in English. Unpublished Dissertation. Amman Arab University for Graduate Studies.

Almahboub, S. F. (2000). Attitudes toward computer use and gender differences among Kuwaiti sixth-grade students. University of North Texas.

Al-Qomoul, M. (2005). The effect of using an instructional software program of English language functions on the basic stage students’ achievements. Unpublished PhD. Thesis. Amman Arab University for Graduate Studies, Amman. Jordan.

Alsouki, S. (2001). The effect of using computers in the teaching of L2 composition on the writing performance of tenth grade students in Amman private schools. Unpublished MA thesis, University of Jordan. Amman, Jordan.

Baloğlu, M., & Çevik, V. (2009). A multivariate comparison of computer anxiety levels between candidate and tenured school principals. Computers in Human Behavior, 25(5), 1102-1107.

Christopher, M. (1995). "Changing how and what children learn in school with computer-based technologies." The future of children (2000): 76-101.

Coady, J., & Huckin, T. (1997). Second language vocabulary acquisition: A rationale for pedagogy. Cambridge University Press.

Conrad, K. B. (1996). CALL-non-English L2 instruction. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 16, 158-181.

Dewan, G., & Sripetpun, W. (2014). Effectiveness of a computer-assisted vocabulary learning package for nursing students and their learning attitude (Master's Thesis). Prince of Songkla, Thailand.

Dhaif, H. A. (1990). Computer Assisted Language Learning: A Client's View. Calico Journal, 7(4), 67-81.

Ellis, N. C. (1995). The psychology of foreign language vocabulary acquisition: Implications for CALL. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 8, 103-128.

Fowler, W. S., & Coe, N. (1976). Nelson English language test. Nelson ELT.

Ghabanchi, Z., & Anbarestani, M. (2008). The effect of CALL program on expanding lexical knowledge of EFL Iranian international learning. Journal of Reading Matrix, 8(2), 82-95.

Goodfellow, R. (1995). A review of the types of CALL programs for vocabulary instruction. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 8, 205-226.

Jones, C., & Fortescue, S. (1987). Using computers in the language classroom. Boston, USA: Addison-Wesley Longman Limited.

Knight, S. (1994). Dictionary use while reading: The effects on comprehension and vocabulary acquisition for students of different verbal abilities. Modern Language Journal, 78(3), 285-299.

Lasagabaster, D., & Manuel Sierra, J. (2003). Students' evaluation of CALL software programs. Educational Media International, 40(3-4), 293-304.

Laufer, B. (2007). Possible change in attitude toward vocabulary acquisition research. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 24, 69-75.

McCarthy, M. (1988). Some vocabulary patterns in conversation. Vocabulary and language teaching, 181-200.

Min, B. C. (1998). A study of the attitudes of Korean adults toward technology-assisted instruction in English-language programs. Multimedia-Assisted Language Learning, 1(1), 63-78.

Nagata, N. (1998). The relative effectiveness of production and comprehension practice in second language acquisition. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 11(2), 153-177.

Nation, I. S. (2001). Learning vocabulary in another language. Ernst Klett Sprachen.

Reinking, D., & Rickman, S. S. (1990). The effects of computer-mediated texts on the vocabulary learning and comprehension of intermediate-grade readers. Journal of Reading Behavior, 22(4), 395-411.

Richards, J. C., Platt, J., & Platt, H. (1992). Dictionary of language teaching and applied linguistics. USA: Longman.

Uberman, A. (1998). The use of CALL for vocabulary presentation and revision. In English Teaching Forum (Vol. 36, No. 1, pp. 20-27).

Warschauer, M. (1996). Computer-assisted language learning: An introduction. Multimedia language teaching, 3-20.

Warschauer, M., & Healey, D. (1998). Computers and language learning: An overview. Language teaching, 31(2), 57-71.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

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

2012-2022 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.