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Promoting Middle School Students’ Engagement Through Incorporating iPad Apps in EFL/ESL Classes


  • Basmah Al-Bogami
  • Tariq Elyas


The use of iPad and other handheld devices in classrooms is spreading. Their use can empower learners and expose them to a plethora of resources. Yet, when it comes to learning a foreign language, reasonably little has been done to empirically ascertain the influence of iPad apps on facilitating language learning as well as engaging language learners. Thus, this study endeavored to illumine the extent to which a selection of iPad applications, used as a pedagogical tool, augment young learners’ engagement and learning in English as a foreign language (EFL) environments. The participants were a group of 20 middle school girls in Saudi Arabia. The study adopted a mixed-methods approach by utilizing a self-reported Likert-type scale questionnaire divided into three constructs, namely, helpfulness, ease of use, and engagement to measure learners’ perception after the intervention of the iPad apps. In addition, observational data were gathered to record students’ primary actions toward the apps. Ultimately, based on the statistical evidence, learners exhibited highly positive attitudes toward the use of the apps in their EFL classes (reading and vocabulary) as they found the apps bolstering their level of engagement and learning compared to traditional teaching paradigms. It was also found that the apps helped foster more active learning in the classroom. This investigation hopes to assist EFL/English as a second language (ESL) practitioners, particularly in the growing domain of iPads in education.

Suggested Citation

  • Basmah Al-Bogami & Tariq Elyas, 2020. "Promoting Middle School Students’ Engagement Through Incorporating iPad Apps in EFL/ESL Classes," SAGE Open, , vol. 10(2), pages 21582440209, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:sagope:v:10:y:2020:i:2:p:2158244020926570
    DOI: 10.1177/2158244020926570

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. George D. Kuh & Ty M. Cruce & Rick Shoup & Jillian Kinzie & Robert M. Gonyea, 2008. "Unmasking the Effects of Student Engagement on First-Year College Grades and Persistence," The Journal of Higher Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 79(5), pages 540-563, September.
    2. Tariq Elyas & Budor S. Al-Zahrani, 2019. "Students¡¯ Views on the Use of Critical Thinking-Based Pedagogical Approach for Vocabulary Instruction," Higher Education Studies, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 9(3), pages 116-134, September.
    3. Jason T. Hilton & Joseph Canciello, 2013. "Tablet English: Student Perceptions of an iPad-Based Digital Literacy Curriculum," International Journal of Digital Literacy and Digital Competence (IJDLDC), IGI Global, vol. 4(4), pages 1-14, October.
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