The Current Use of Mobile Devices among Students and Faculty in EFL Teaching in a Saudi Arabian Context

ABSTRACT

Mobile technology has significant potential to support learning and teaching in English. However, few studies attempt to explore current use by students and faculty members of mobile technologies to facilitate English language learning and teaching in Saudi Arabia. Even fewer studies capture descriptions of current use in the words of these users. The present study focused on the current use and associated pedagogy related to mobile technologies. It drew on findings from qualitative data gathered through focus group interviews of 49 university students and 30 faculty members. Thematic analysis results showed that students predominantly use their mobile devices informally outside the classroom to facilitate their English language learning. For students, social media are particularly popular and provide opportunities to practise their English language skills outside the classroom. Conversely, faculty members emphasised the use of mobile devices formally in the classroom context, expressing views on how they might improve control of student use of mobile devices. Critically, comparison of such use by students and faculty members reveals that studentsí informal use of mobile devices to support learning is much better aligned than faculty membersí formal use of these devices in terms of what one might consider mobile device best practice.