Home > Issues > Articles > An Evaluation of Chinese Vocabulary Learning Apps for Self-access Extracurricular Learning

An Evaluation of Chinese Vocabulary Learning Apps for Self-access Extracurricular Learning

XIAO, Jingru ZHAO, Minming / December 2023 / Issue No.14 /


Share This Paper

Download File


Mobile applications are becoming more and more common as educational tools to help the study of a second language outside the classrooms. Chinese vocabulary learning apps, as a particular type that accounts for a large share, have not only highlighted the importance of vocabulary learning in learning Chinese as a second language (CSL) field, but also represented the enormous potential of mobile technology in the area of self-access vocabulary acquisition. However, there hasn't been much done to analyze these applications, especially from the viewpoints of the learners. In addition, few studies have looked into the practical experience of using these apps. Based on a needs analysis of Chinese learners, the current study designed a checklist for evaluating Chinese vocabulary learning apps and used them to assess six apps for self-access extracurricular learning. The criteria covered the following areas: content quality, pedagogical coherence, feedback and self-correction, motivation, usability, customization, and sharing. Applying the checklist revealed that half of the selected apps lacked sharing and motivation mechanisms, and also performed poorly in the feedback system. The applications performed best in the category of content quality.An app called trainchinese was chosen by getting the highest score on the checklist, and then was experienced by three volunteers. Results showed that even though the selected app is relatively in line with learners' psychological expectations, it can only partially meet the needs of learners for Chinese vocabulary learning in practical experience. Additionally, learners’ different Chinese levels and learning styles are also big interfering factors. The findings of this paper provide more information for Chinese teachers and Chinese learning app designers to pay attention to the needs of self-access learners. However, the evaluation standards based on actual needs need to be further mined and supplemented by future research.


learning Chinese as a second language, vocabulary learning, mobile applications, evaluation, self-access language learning


International Journal of Chinese Language Education; Dec 2023; Issue No. 14; p.58-106



Cite Paper

Button Text Button Text
Subscribe Now!

Want to stay in the know? By subscribing you will receive an email whenever IJCLE has any updates!