WhatsApp Mobile Tool in Second Language Learning: Opportunities, Potentials and Challenges in Higher Education Settings in Tanzania

Job W. Mwakapina, Abdulkarim S. Mhandeni, Onesmo S. Nyinondi


Teaching large classes interactively has always been posing great challenges to language teachers in many of the developing countries. This study sought to explore whether the blending of WhatsApp Social Networking Tool (WSNT) in English Second Language (L2) learning class would make the class more interactive. Specifically, the study investigated roles and extent to which WSNT helps in the improvement of English Proficiency. Further, it explored advantages and challenges of using the tool in L2 learning. The study was conducted at one university involving first year undergraduate students who were pursuing different programs, and English grammar course was a compulsory course to them. WSNT was blended in grammar course for a period of one semester. Thereafter, evaluation forms and WhatsApp discussion board were used in data collection. It was realised that the tool plays a great role to the largest extent in helping students learn English interactively and collaboratively. In respect to advantages and challenges, it was reflected that the benefits of blending WSNT in L2 classroom far outweigh the challenges. This implies that WSNT does much good than harm on student’s L2 learning and development. The study concludes that WSNT can be fully utilised for education purposes. The government is therefore urged to provide loans to university students for online mobile learning tools as part of their special faculty requirements. Also, instructors are recommended to adapt the tool synchronously in their courses because the tool is effective at creating interactive learning environment.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijele.v4i2.9711


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Copyright (c) 2016 Job W. Mwakapina, Abdulkarim S. Mhandeni, Onesmo S. Nyinondi

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International Journal of English Language Education    E-mail: ijele@macrothink.org    Copyright © Macrothink Institute    ISSN 2325-0887

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