LUCAS KOHNKE (THE HONG KONG POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY)

DESIGNING A DISCIPLINE-SPECIFIC VOCABULARY APP FOR TERTIARY STUDENTS : CURRICULUM AND MATERIALS DEVELOPMENT

In a variety of educational contexts, apps have created new avenues for students to develop their proficiency in English (Chen, Carger, & Smith, 2017). However, vocabulary learning continues to be one of the major challenges of learning a second language (Lin & Lin, 2019), especially in the context of specific disciplines, which are the core of individual students’ coursework (Kieffer, Petscher, Proctor, & Silverman, 2016). The researcher developed a discipline-specific vocabulary app, Excel@EnglishPolyU, with the aim of providing students with vocabulary acquisition in the disciplines. The current study investigates the semester-long learning experience of 8 participants at an EMI university in Hong Kong. The participants showed improvements on L2 measures at the end of the study. In terms of perceptions of their experiences, the participants generally viewed Excel@EnglishPolyU’s flexibility and gamification aspects positively. The presentation will be beneficial for teachers interested in L2 vocabulary acquisition and app design.

Dr. Lucas Kohnke is a Teaching Fellow in the English Language Centre, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He is the subject leader for the general EAP course delivered to the majority of 1st-year university students and subject leads professional English courses for School of Design students.