The Effects of Using Online Applications to Teach Vocabulary to English Learners of HUFI in Ho Chi Minh City




mobile apps, teaching and learning vocabulary, technological advances, vocabulary retention.


This research aims at analyzing the outcome and effectiveness of applying several mobile apps or websites to teach and learn vocabulary in a particular university in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). Under the era of technological bloom and advances in mobile applications, teaching and learning English is certainly facilitated by these tools; as a result, many teachers use some apps, such as Kahoot, Quizlet, Quizizz, and so forth. In order to engage their students to learn and review lexical resources. This paper discusses how deeply and effectively online apps influence the way Vietnamese teachers teach lexicon to students and how they should be used in further context to maximize the efficacy of teaching new words. In this article, the author uses semi-structured interviews with six different interviewees who are currently lecturers at HUFI university in HCM city. This embraces questions about frequency, efficiency, self-judgment, and their ideas about this issue. Results indicate that vocabulary learning apps have a strikingly profound and meaningful impact on teaching and learning, facilitating students' learning process and enhancing vocabulary retention. The study also provides recommendations for the use of mobile applications in teaching vocabulary.

Author Biography

Nguyen Thanh Huyen, Ho Chi Minh City University of Food Industry, Vietnam

Huyen Nguyen Thanh has been a lecturer of HCMC University of Food Industry since January 2021. She graduated from HCMC University of Pedagogy, Vietnam, majored in English Language Teaching. She has been teaching English for nearly 10 years, with students varying from different levels and ages. Currently, she is showing her interests in the field of education and English language teaching at universities.


Basal, A., Yilmaz, S., Tanriverdi, A., & Sari, L. (2016). Effectiveness of Mobile Applications in Vocabulary Teaching. Contemporary Educational Technology, 7(1), 47–59. DOI: 10.30935/cedtech/6162

Burston, J. (2015). Twenty years of MALL project implementation: A meta-analysis of learning outcomes. ReCALL, 27(1), 4–20.

Castañeda, D. A., & Cho, M.-H. (2016). Use of a game-like application on a mobile device to improve accuracy in conjugating Spanish verbs. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 29(7), 1195–1204.

Chinnery, G. M. (2006). Emerging Technologies Going to the MALL: Mobile Assisted Language Learning. Language Learning & Technology, 10(1), 9–16. Retrieved from

Davie, N., & Hilber, T. (2015). Mobile-Assisted Language Learning: Student Attitudes To Using Smartphones To Learn English Vocabulary. International Conference Mobile Learning, 36(4), 70-78. Retrieved from

Duman, G., Orhon, G., & Gedik, N. (2014). Research trends in mobile-assisted language learning from 2000 to 2012. ReCALL, 27(2), 197–216.

Godwin-Jones, R. (2011). Emerging Technologies Mobile Apps For Language Learning, 15(2), 2–11. Retrieved from

Heil, C. R., Wu, J. S., Lee, J. J., & Schmidt, T. (2016). Review paper A review of mobile language learning applications: trends, challenges and opportunities. The EUROCALL Review, 24(2), 32-50.

Klímová, B., Berger, A. (2018). Evaluation of the Use of Mobile Application in Learning English Vocabulary and Phrases – A Case Study. In Hao, T., Chen, W., Xie, H., Nadee, W., Lau, R. (Eds.): SETE 2018. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 11284, 3-11. Springer, Cham: Switzerland.

Klimova, B., & Polakova, P. (2020). Students’ Perceptions of an EFL Vocabulary Learning Mobile Application. Education Sciences, 10(2), 37-45.

Kohnke, L., Zhang, R., & Zou, D. (2019). Using Mobile Vocabulary Learning Apps as Aids to Knowledge Retention: Business Vocabulary Acquisition. Article in Journal of Asia TEFL, 16(2), 683-690.

Kukulska-Hulme, A., & Shield, L. (2008). An overview of mobile-assisted language learning: From content delivery to supported collaboration and interaction. ReCALL, 20(3), 271–289.

Lee, P. (2014). Are Mobile Devices More Useful than Conventional Means as Tools for Learning Vocabulary? 2014 IEEE 8th International Symposium on Embedded Multicore/Manycore SoCs, 109-115. Retrieved from

Le, M. T. (2021). Students’ Attitude Towards Using Smartphones and Portable Devices for Studying Writing. International Journal of TESOL & Education, 1(3), 54–64. Retrieved from

Lin, J. J., & Lin, H. (2019). Mobile-assisted ESL/EFL vocabulary learning: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 32(8), 878–919.

Masrai, A., & Milton, J. (2015). Word difficulty and learning among native Arabic learners of EFL. English Language Teaching, 8(6), 1–10.

Mindog, E. (2016). Apps and EFL: A case study on the use of smartphone apps to learn English by four Japanese university students. JALT CALL Journal, 12(1), 3–22.

Nisbet, D., & Austin, D. (2013). Enhancing ESL Vocabulary Development Through the Use of Mobile Technology. Journal of Adult Education, 42(1), 1-7. Retrieved from

Nguyen, N. T. T. (2021). A review of the effects of media on foreign language vocabulary acquisition. International Journal of TESOL & Education, 1(1), 30–37. Retrieved from

Oberg, A., & Daniels, P. (2013). Analysis of the effect a student-centred mobile learning instructional method has on language acquisition. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 26(2), 177–196.

Parvin, R. H., & Salam, S. F. (2015). The Effectiveness of Using Technology in English Language Classrooms in Government Primary Schools in Bangladesh. FIRE: Forum for International Research in Education, 2(1), 47-59. Retrieved from

Pham, A. T. (2022). University Students’ Perceptions on the Use of Quizlet in Learning Vocabulary. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET), 17(07), pp. 54–63.

Poláková, P., & Klímová, B. (2019). Mobile technology and generation Z in the English language classroom – A preliminary study. Education Sciences, 9(3), 1-11.

Roach, P. (2000). English phonetics and phonology: A practical course. Cambridge, U.K: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from

Rosell-Aguilar, F. (2018). Autonomous language learning through a mobile application: a user evaluation of the busuu app. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 31(8), 854–881.

Stockwell, G. (2010). Using Mobile Phones For Vocabulary Activities: Examining The Effect Of The Platform, 14(2), 95–110. Retrieved from

Sweeney, P., & Moore, C. (2013). Mobile Apps for Learning Vocabulary. International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching, 2(4), 1–16.

Wilkinson, D., & Birmingham, P. (2003). Using Research Instruments : a Guide for Researchers. London: Routledge.




How to Cite

Nguyen, T. H. (2022). The Effects of Using Online Applications to Teach Vocabulary to English Learners of HUFI in Ho Chi Minh City. International Journal of TESOL & Education, 2(3), 32–42.