The Use of WhatsApp in Collaborative Learning to Improve the Reading Skill Among University Students: A Case Study of Saudi Students of English at the University of Jeddah

Nasser Alasmari


Researchers have advocated collaborative learning and largely reported its evidenced advantages in learning a language. They have emphasized that students working collaboratively tend to learn language better and retain knowledge longer than when learning through any other instructional format (Johnson, Johnson, & Holubec, 1993). In addition, these researchers questioned which tool is most effective in the successful implementation of this kind of learning. In this respect, technology has been recommended as an effective tool that leads to higher language achievements (Almekhalfi & Almeqdadi, 2010). In more particular terms and given its popularity, the WhatsApp messenger application has been strongly advocated and highlighted as one of the most effective media for instruction that significantly contributes to the success of language learners (Cakir, 2015, as cited in Ta’amneh, 2017).

Aiming to add to the growing literature about the integration of WhatsApp in education, this paper measures the impact of this application’s use for improving the reading skill of 30 Saudi male learners of English as a foreign language, as well as identifying their perceptions towards the English languagelearning experience after implementing WhatsApp in their learning. Data were gathered via pre- and post-tests as well as through a focused group interview. The findings proved the significant association between the use of WhatsApp and the improvement of the reading skills of the participants, who articulated a favourable attitude towards the use of WhatsApp as a tool for language learning.

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International Research in Higher Education  ISSN 2380-9183 (Print)  ISSN 2380-9205 (Online)

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