Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice


Rashid Moore

Committee Member

Julie Alemany


communicative competence, phenomenology, mobile applications, constructivist learning theory, EFL learners


This phenomenological study is focused on understanding how university students who are learning English as a foreign language (EFL) perceive and experience using mobile application on their speaking abilities. The primary goal was to examine the perception and attitudes of EFL learners towards using mobile apps for independent English-speaking practice and creating a customized learning experience outside of the classroom.

The researcher also investigated the participants’ views on the challenges and advantages of incorporating mobile apps into university speaking courses. The findings of this investigation may inform language educators at universities on the potential benefits of using mobile apps in teaching and support the improvement of students’ communication skills. Employing the phenomenological approach outlined by Creswell (2005) and Moustakas (1994), with a specific focus on the modified Van Kaam method proposed by Moustakas (1994), eight detailed individual semi-structured interviews and focus group sessions were conducted by the researcher. The primary aim was to conduct a thorough exploration of participants' perceptions and attitudes regarding the effectiveness of mobile applications in fostering the development of their oral communication skills.

The utilization of thematic analysis facilitated the systematic organization of collected data and the categorization of possible themes. The research findings are presented through descriptive interpretations detailing participants' perceptions and experiences pertaining to the impact of mobile applications on their communicative proficiency. Seven overarching themes derived from participant experiences offer a comprehensive understanding of app usage motivations, benefits, and challenges. Participants acknowledged mobile apps as instrumental tools in augmenting English language skills, emphasizing their utility for TOEFL preparation, listening practice, vocabulary acquisition, and broader language exposure.

In essence, this research presents a detailed tapestry of narratives elucidating the intricate relationship between EFL students and mobile apps. It offers guidance for educators, app developers, and policymakers in informed decision-making, recognizing the evolving landscape of technology-mediated language learning.

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