Type Paper
License CC BY 4.0

Profiling mobile English language learners


The purpose of this study was to use an app-embedded survey to profile language learner demographics. A total of 3,759 efl language learners from primarily eight l1 backgrounds (French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Thai) responded to the survey embedded within a popular English grammar app. This app has over 500,000 downloads and over 100,000 active users. The results, significantly, showed respondents self-assessed their ability, overwhelmingly, as beginner or elementary. The data also highlighted differences in user segment size according to gender, age, and l1, as well as more nuanced patterns influenced by possible culture and gender roles. Finally, the survey data pointed towards likely areas of future demographic mobile assisted language learning (mall) growth. While presently there is very little concrete research on autonomous mobile language learning, due to the difficulty of gathering language app data from learners not tethered to a classroom or instructor, it is hoped that this research will provide a methodological foundation for more in-depth research into learner habits and preferences.


Byrne, J., & Diem, R. (2014). Profiling mobile English language learners. The JALT CALL Journal, 10(1), 3-19. https://doi.org/10.29140/jaltcall.v10n1.165