Self-Directed Language Learning: A Semiotic Analysis of a Language Learning App

  • Wing Yee Jenifer HoEmail author


Virtual learning sites give learners unprecedented control and autonomy over their own learning. The flexible learning pathway is mainly contributed by the design of the apps, which offers a variety of linguistic and semiotic resources for language learning. So far, there is only limited research on the multimodal design of language learning apps. This chapter examines the semiotic arrangement of the Memrise app, which is a multilingual virtual learning site with a focus on vocabulary learning. In particular, this chapter aims to (1) map out the kind of resources that are provided for learners, (2) the way these resources are realised in the design of the app and (3) the way in which these resources are orchestrated and contribute to language learning through conducting multimodal social semiotic analysis. This chapter concludes with a critical view of the use of technology in education.


Virtual learning sites Language learning Multimodality Social semiotics 



First and foremost, thanks must be given to the Bloomsbury Colleges PhD Studentship for funding the PhD project in which the data of this study is drawn from. I would also like to thank the Memrise team, in particular Ed Cooke and Ben Whately, for their support in this project. I would also like to thank the editors for providing constructive feedback which greatly improves the quality of the chapter. Thanks must also be given to Heidi Chan for her help in preparing this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishCity University of Hong KongHong KongChina

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