Game-Based Vocabulary Learning in China and Hong Kong: Students’ Evaluation of Different Word Learning APPs

  • Di Zou
  • Fu Lee Wang
  • Haoran XieEmail author
  • Lucas Kohnke
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 843)


The present research firstly investigated how Chinese and Hong Kong students evaluated five commonly used word learning APPs. Data concerning their perceptions and experience of using these APPs were collected through interviews and questionnaire surveys. Questions concerning their expectations of effective word learning APPs were also asked. The collected data were coded and analyzed to identify common features or points mentioned by the students. The results showed that students highly value features like enabling users to choose specific target groups of words, having vivid visual aids, providing pronunciations, detailed and accurate definitions and examples, and allowing users to interact with other users. The second part of this research asked the students to compare a wording learning APP developed by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University to the APPs that they had used previously, evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of different word learning APPs. The results of the research are consistent with Zou’s (2016, 2017) arguments that the availability of various aspects of word knowledge are conducive to effective word learning as it promotes greater degree of elaboration on the target vocabulary. Moreover, the results support Zou and Xie’s (2018) argument that personalized learning is essential to learner engagement and learning effectiveness.


Game-based vocabulary learning Word learning APPs Degree of elaboration Personalized learning 



This study was fully supported by the Start-Up Research Grant (RG 54/2017-2018R) of the Education University of Hong Kong and a grant from Research Grants Council of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (UGC/FDS11/E03/16).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Di Zou
    • 1
  • Fu Lee Wang
    • 2
  • Haoran Xie
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lucas Kohnke
    • 3
  1. 1.The Education University of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina
  2. 2.Caritas Institute of Higher EducationHong Kong SARChina
  3. 3.The Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHong Kong SARChina

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