Mobile learning in English language learning: Towards implementation in Malaysian secondary schools

Ms Mariam Mohamad  | Presentation (PDF)

Universiti Sains Malaysia



The study explores the use of mobile phones to support English vocabulary learning in Malaysian schools and develops an implementation strategy which consists of the policy and procedure through an Educational Research and Development (ER&D) methodology (Borg and Gall, 1979) with the interview as the main research tool. The methodology consists of rigorous steps in developing, evaluating and disseminating the implementation strategy as well as exploring other issues associated with mobile learning implementation in Malaysian schools. 

Based on the respondent’s perspectives, it has been established that the implementation strategy developed in this study would have the potential to provide guidance in the implementation of mobile learning in Malaysian schools. There is also a potential to utilize mobile phones to complement the existing practices in Malaysian schools: adding value to the existing initiatives for teaching the English Language in Malaysian schools, complementing the ICT policy in the Malaysian Education System, complementing the Malaysian Smart School vision to utilize mobile technologies and becoming an alternative teaching and learning tool. This study also explores emerging themes in the implementation of mobile learning. These are the opportunities of utilizing mobile phones including: supporting English Language subject; as an affordable device, as a common device among students, as a future teaching and learning tool, as an engaging and motivational learning device, to support various learning activities, and to prepare students for their future with digital literacy. The challenges identified are: misuse, current educational policy, management and maintenance, stakeholders’ attitude, digital divide and personal space invasion. 

The study sheds light on the situation regarding the utilization of mobile phones including the challenges that need to be addressed to make it a reality. It is envisaged that the implementation strategy would help towards the realization of mobile learning implementation in Malaysian school.

The study is in line with theme in Mobile Learning Week 2014 by providing the suggestion on how to integrate mobile technology into formal learning environment. In addition, it also provides an alternative on how to improve pedagogy and strengthen education quality through emerging technology.



Mariam Mohamad graduated with a doctorate at the University of Southampton, United Kingdom in the field of Mobile Learning. She is a Senior Lecturer in Universiti Sains Malaysia under the Center of Instructional Technology and Multimedia. 

Mariam holds various qualifications from international institutions: Master Degree in Computer Based Learning & Training and Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from the University of Southampton, United Kingdom. In addition, she also holds an Associate Degree in Information Engineering from Takuma College of Technology, Japan. She was also awarded with Malaysian Skills Certificate Level 2 and Level 3 in Information Systems. 

Having graduated from Japan, Mariam started her career as a Manufacturing Programme Management Executive with Gateway (Malaysia). She was then continued her career as an Assessor and Internal Verifier for National Vocational Training Council, Malaysia before continuing her studies in the United Kingdom.

Mariam’s research interests are in the field of educational technology concentrating on the deployment of mobile learning in mainstream education the use of mobile technology as an assistive device. She also actively involves in presenting and publishing articles related to the field. One of her papers was cited in UNESCO (2012) 'Turning on Mobile Learning in Asia: Illustrative initiatives and policy implications. Paris, France: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

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