Mobile phones have a rapidly growing language teaching and learning potential due to various technologies and applications including instant messaging. However, the related literature mostly documents studies aiming at investigating their role for teaching vocabulary, pronunciation, and content, and thus there are calls to focus on other skills, including writing. Responding to these calls to solve the problem of research scarcity on other skills, I opted for a qualitative research design to investigate the pedagogical potential of WhatsApp©, perceive my students’ experiences, and evaluate the process with all strengths and weaknesses. I attempted to make contributions to the existing knowledge on the role of WhatsApp© as one of the most commonly utilised mobile instant messaging applications for language teaching. At the end of a 4-month-period, I gathered my detailed qualitative data from 44 preparatory programme English majoring students at a large-size public university in the northeast of Turkey via a self-devised open-ended questionnaire and conducted a thematic content analysis. My findings highlighted the potential of WhatsApp© as an educational tool to enhance language skills and allow practice chance, offer entertainment and increase interest, decrease anxiety and increase motivation, encourage participation, offer a better communication between the teacher and the students, and help self-improvement. However, no classroom implementation is without limitations, and WhatsApp©-geared interaction was no exception as the implementation had some challenges such as student inconvenience, emotion-related issues, technical problems, content-related and language issues. Based on my dual role, that is, both an academician and practitioner (pracademic), I offered some pedagogical implications for those who want to utilise mobile phones to bring classroom and outside world together to enhance language teaching.


Mobile Phones, M-Learning, Writing, Extracurricular, WhatsApp©, Case Study

Author Bio(s)

Lecturer Dr. Şakire Erbay Çetinkaya holds a PhD from the Applied Linguistic Department at Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon, Turkey. She has been teaching at the same institution for 10 years. She is interested in English as an International Paradigm (EIL), teaching material evaluation and development, language teaching and culture, writing instruction, mobile phone-assisted language instruction, and reflective practice. She has published several articles on EIL, reflective practice, coursebook evaluation, programme evaluation, MALL, to list but a few. Please direct correspondence to sakireerbay@ktu.edu.tr.

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