Using Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) to Teach English in Indonesian Context: Opportunities and Challenges


  • Solihin Solihin STKIP Paracendekia NW Sumbawa



MALL, Opportunities, Challenges


Information Technology (IT), more particularly, mobile devices and applications are getting more and more popular in the world of education. Language learning has become one part of education that uses mobile technology. In Indonesia, Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) has been applied in a number of regions although it is also admitted that some places are not as fortunate as those which have applied it. Some have questioned the possibility of the application of MALL in their regions, but some others comment that the application of it is unavoidable. The questions raised in this research are: 1) what are the opportunities as well as the challenges of using MALL?  2) How is the possibility of applying MALL in Indonesian context? This research is descriptive qualitative. The techniques of data collection applied were library research and self-reflection. The data analysis methods were data reduction, data display, and conclusion drawing. To answer the questions in this research, this paper looks at a number of mobile devices and applications and reviews literature (including peer-reviewed articles) related to the opportunities as well as their challenges of incorporation into the context of English as Foreign Language (EFL) education. Their use in Indonesian context is then discussed. Finally, this paper recommends that MALL should be used in EFL education in Indonesia in order to keep up with the digital learning of this world and also suggests that further research should be conducted for each mobile device and app in all parts of Indonesia, including rural areas.



Ali, M. (2018). 10+ the advantages and disadvantages of social media on youth. Retrieved on 24 October, 2018 from

Awada, G. (2016). Effect of WhatsApp on critique writing proficiency and perceptions toward learning. Cogent Education, 3(1), 1264173.

Bensalem, E. (2018). The Impact of WhatsApp on EFL students' Vocabulary Learning. Arab World English Journal (AWEJ), 9(1), 23-38. doi:

Boyd, D., & Ellison, N. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer & Mediated Communication, 13(1), 210-230.

Cahyono B,Y & Widiati, Utami. (2004). The tapestry of English language teaching and learning in Indonesia. Malang: State University of Malang Press.

Campbell, M. (2005). The impact of the mobile phone on young people’s social life. Presented to the Social Change in the 21st Century Conference.

Charlton, T., Panting, C., & Hannan, A. (2002). Mobile telephone ownership and usage among 10- and 11-year-olds: participation and exclusion. Emotional & Behavioural Difficulties, 7(3), 152-163.

Chinnery, G. M. (2006). Emerging technologies going to the MALL: Mobile assisted language learning. Language Learning & Technology, 10(1), 9-16.

Ebner, M., Lienhardt, C., Rohs, M., & Meyer, I. (2010). Microblogs in Higher Education–A chance to facilitate informal and process-oriented learning? Computers & Education, 55(1), 92-100.

Espinosa, L. F. (2015). The use of facebook for educational purposes in EFL classrooms. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 5(11), 2206-2211. doi:

Franks, T. M. (2016). Purpose, practice, and (discovery) process: When self-reflection is the method. Qualitative Inquiry, 22(1), 47-50.

Godwin-Jones, R. (2011). Emerging technologies: Mobile apps for language learning. Language Learning & Technology, 15(2), 2-11.

Hamad, M. M. (2017). Using WhatsApp to Enhance Students’ Learning of English Language “Experience to Shareâ€. Higher Education Studies, 7(4), 74.

Hsu, Liwei. (2016) Examining EFL teachers’ technological pedagogical content knowledge and the adoption of mobile-assisted language learning: a partial least square approach. Computer Assisted Language Learning. 29:8, 1287-1297, DOI: 10.1080/09588221.2016.1278024

Jang, M., & Song, W. O. (2007). Personal digital assistants: Essential tools for preparing dietetics professionals to use new generation information technology. Nutrition Research and Practice, 1(1), 42–45.

Jazadi, I. (2008). The politics of curriculum; An interpretive stduy of high schools in Indonesia. Sumbawa: Paracendekia NW Press.

K.W. Chuang. (2009). Mobile technologies enhance the E-learning opportunity. American J. of Business Education, vol. 2.

Lan, Y.-J., Sung, Y.-T., & Chang, K.-E. (2007). A mobile-device-supported peer-assisted learning system for collaborative early EFL reading. Language Learning & Technology, 11(3), 130-151.

Lombok Post. (2020). Tiga ribu desa di Indonesia tanpa listrik, 11.000 tanpa internet. Retrieved on 20 January 2021 from

M. Ozdogan, N. Basoglu, & G. Ercetin. (2012). Exploring major determinants of mobile learning adoption. Proc. Technology Management for Emerging Technologies (PICMET), pp. 1415-1423.

Menkhoff, T., Chay, Y. W., Bengtsson, M. L., Woodard, C. J., & Gan, B. (2015). Incorporating microblogging (“tweetingâ€) in higher education: Lessons learnt in a knowledge management course. Computers in Human Behavior, 51, 1295-1302. (2020). 5.000 keluarga di Sumbawa belum menikmati listrik. Retrieved on 20 January 2021 from

Mwakapina, J. W., Mhandeni, A. S., & Nyinondi, O. S. (2016). Whatsapp mobile tool in second language learning: opportunities, potentials and challenges in higher education settings in Tanzania. International Journal of English Language Education, 4(2), 70-90.

Nations, D. (2018). What is microblogging? A definition of microblogging with examples. Retrieved 9 October, 2018 from

Noordin, N., & Ting, D. S. W. (2017). Facebooking in today's net generation: Prospects and challenges. The English Teacher (1), 14.

Oxford University Press ELT. (2016). 25 ideas for using WhatsApp with English language students. Retrieved on 9 September, 2018 from

Oz, H. (2015). An investigation of preservice English teachers’ perceptions of Mobile Assisted Language Learning. English Language Teaching, 8(2), 22-34.

Park, S., Kim, M., Lee, Y., Son, C., & Lee, M. (2005). The effects of visual illustrations on learners' achievement and interest in PDA-(Personal Digital Assistant) based learning. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 33(2), 173-187.

Princenton Universtiy Labrary. (2021). Philosophy: library research methods. Retrieved on 3 February 2021 from

Salehi, H., & Salehi, Z. (2012). Challenges for using ICT in education: Teachers’ insights. International Journal of e-Education, e-Business, e-Management and e-Learning, 2(1), 40-43.

Savas, P. (2014). Tablet PCs as Instructional Tools in English as a Foreign Language Education. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology-TOJET, 13(1), 217-222.

Sugiyono. (2010). Metode penelitian kuantitati,f kualitative dan R & D. Bandung: Alfabeta.

The Statistical Portal. (2018). Most popular mobile messaging apps worldwide as of July 2018, based on umber of monthly active users (in millions). Retrieved 8 October, 2018 from

Wishart, J. (2008). Challenges faced by modern foreign language teacher trainees in using handheld pocket PCs (Personal Digital Assistants) to support their teaching and learning. ReCALL, 20(3), 348-360.

Yang, J. (2013). Mobile assisted language learning: review of the recent applications of emerging mobile technologies. English Language Teaching, 6(7), 19.

Yudhiantara, R. A., & Saehu, A. (2017). Mobile-Assisted Language Learning (MALL) in Indonesian Islamic Higher Education. IJELTAL (Indonesian Journal of English Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics), 2(1).

Yudhiantara, R., & Nasir, I. A. (2017). Toward Mobile-Assisted Language Learning (MALL): Reaping Mobile Phone Benefits in Classroom Activities. Register Journal, 10(1), 12-28.




How to Cite

Solihin, S. (2021). Using Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) to Teach English in Indonesian Context: Opportunities and Challenges. Voices of English Language Education Society, 5(2), 95–106.