Impact of WhatsApp on Learning and Retention of Collocation Knowledge among Iranian EFL Learners

Zahra Ashiyan, Hadi Salehi


During the recent technological years, language learning has been attempted to transform its path from the conventional methods to instrumental applications. Mobile phone provides people to reach and exchange information through chats (WhatsApp). It is a tool or mode that means the facilities are used for main purposes. The unique features of the application are its compatibility to exchange information, enhance communication and relationship. A mobile phone provides to download, upload and store learning materials and information files. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the use and effect of mobile applications such as WhatsApp on school work and out of school work. In this way, Oxford Placement Test (OPT) was conducted among 80 learners in order to select intermediate EFL learners.  In total, 60 participants whose scores were 70 or higher were elected as the intermediate level and were divided into experimental and control groups. In order to control the reliability of the collocation pretest, the test was pilot studied on 15 learners. Then, the pretest was conducted to measure the learner’s collocation knowledge in both of the groups. The experimental group frequently installed WhatsApp application in order to learning and practicing new collocations in order to learning and practicing new collocations, while the control group did not use any tool for learning them. An immediate posttest after the treatment was administered. The results in each group were statistically evaluated and the findings manifested that the experimental group who used WhatsApp application in learning collocation significantly outperformed the control group in posttest. Thus usage of WhatsApp application to acquire collocations can reinforce and enhance the process of collocations acquisition and it can guarantee retention of collocations. This study also prepares pedagogical implications for utilizing mobile application as an influential instrument in learning a second language.

Keywords: Mobile application, WhatsApp, Collocations knowledge, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Iranian EFL learners, Social Networking Sites (SNSs)

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