The Open UniversitySkip to content

Researching mobile-assisted Chinese-character learning strategies among adult distance learners

Kan, Qian; Owen, Nathaniel and Bax, Stephen (2018). Researching mobile-assisted Chinese-character learning strategies among adult distance learners. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 12(1) pp. 56–71.

Full text available as:
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (844kB) | Preview
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


In the field of teaching and learning Chinese as a foreign language (CFL), most studies investigate Chinese character learning strategies in pen-and-paper study by campus-based students. With the increase in distance-learning, and expanding popularity of smartphones and tablets and widespread availability of mobile applications for language learning, it is now important to research mobile-assisted character learning strategies by distance learners. This study attempts to i) identify changing practices when character learning is assisted by mobile technology; and ii) analyse the underlying causes for the changing practices. These issues were investigated using an online survey, learning diary and email interviews with UK-based distance learners of beginners’ Chinese (n=22). The findings suggest that there are important emerging new practices and previously unreported strategies such as constantly testing oneself and using pinyin input to identify new characters. They also reveal two strategy types not reported in previous research concerning social and affective dimensions. The study thereby provides important new insights into how adult distance learners of Chinese at beginners’ level learn characters when assisted by mobile technology, with significant pedagogical implications for Chinese character pedagogy in terms of course design and learner support.

Item Type: Journal Item
ISSN: 1750-1229
Extra Information: This is the accepted manuscript. There might be further amendments before publication. Please do not quote without checking with authors.
Keywords: Chinese character learning strategies, mobile-assisted language learning, technology, beginners’ Chinese
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics > Languages
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Health and Wellbeing PRA (Priority Research Area)
Language & Literacies
Item ID: 52405
Depositing User: Qian Kan
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2017 16:32
Last Modified: 30 May 2020 04:25
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU