The Impact of Telegram on Learning of Collocational Knowledge among EFL High School Students

The Impact of Telegram on Learning of Collocational Knowledge among EFL High School Students

Table of Contents


Rapidly developing mobile applications and ubiquitous access to the Internet provide the learners with extended opportunities to be independent from any time and location. In this regard, this study aimed to investigate the impact of Telegram on collocation learning of Iranian EFL learners. To this end, 40 high school participants whose language proficiency homogeneity was examined through a language proficiency test were selected and randomly divided into two equal-innumber groups of 20 students in the experimental and control group. To minimize the effect of participants’ background knowledge in terms of collocations, a pretest was administered to the participants. At the end of treatment sessions, parallel to the pretest a teacher-made collocation knowledge test was administered for both the control and experimental groups in order to measure the learners’ progress as a result of instruction. The experimental group installed Telegram application on their mobiles or tablets for collocation learning and retention, whereas the control groups were not allowed to use any tool. To ascertain that the participants were statistically different in terms of collocation learning, an independent samples t-test was run between the experimental and control groups’ post-test scores. In order to determine the effectiveness of the program, a paired samples t-test was also conducted to compare the mean scores of pre-test and post-test of both groups. Analyzing the results showed that there was a significant difference between the performance of experimental and control groups, of course, in favor of experimental group confirming the effect of Telegram on improving collocational knowledge among Iranian high school students. This study implies that utilizing telegram as a newly emerging mobile application has various pedagogical benefits and fosters EFL instruction effectively.


Collocation learning, Telegram, Mobile applications, Social networks, EFL learners


Usage of information and communication technology (ICT) brings about changes in learning environments (Uzunboylu, Bicen, & Cavus, 2011), to the extent that our lives are deeply immersed in technology. Similarly, Garret (1991) rightly states that “the integrating of ICT in teaching and learning is not a method; rather it is a medium in which variety of methods, approaches, and pedagogical philosophies may be implemented”(p.77). Web 2.0 which was the base of Social Networking Sites (SNSs) paved the way for users to create, upload, and share multi-media contents which in turn encourages an active role for users in learning and knowledge making (Rosen & Nelson, 2009). Therefore, it was through SNSs that individuals create relationship, tied to each other (Marshal, 1999), overcome the barriers of geography, class, and ethnicity (McCarrol & Curran, 2013); the rare events in the real world. In fact, new form of electronic learning (E-learning) has managed to become one of the hallmarks of our lives (Cavus, Uzunboylu, & Ebrahim, 2008).

In addition to social networks, devices such as smartphones and tablets have now become tools to offering anywhere any time access to social networks and online content (McCarrol & Curran, 2013). In other words, the possibility of installing different applications on these devices has opened new opportunities for learners to comprehend language contents (Ghytasi, Azizifar, & Gowhary, 2015). In fact, in information processing world, it is now a consensus idea that application-based learning devices and SNSs overcome limitations of time and space and empower the students to study wherever and whenever feasible (Chen & Chung, 2008; Trifanova & Ronchetti, 2003). As mentioned earlier, learning via mobile applications is an ideal solution to language learning barriers and limitations in terms of time and place and helps language teachers and scholars to use them in educational environments for learning and teaching purposes as frequent, portable, and accessible devices (Miangah & Nezarat, 2012; Tayebinik & Puteh, 2012).

Vocabulary in general and collocations in particular have significant roles in language learning (i.e., collocation competence is important for language production and reception) and are essential to non-native speakers of English to speak and write fluently and accurately (Ja’en, 2007); as a result, they draw the attention of language teachers and educators. On the importance of collocations, Hill (2000) states that, “it is estimated more than 70% of individual dialogues in speaking, hearing, reading, or writing are to be found in several forms of fixed expressions” (p.53). Moreover, during the last decades, pedagogical environments have witnessed increased focus in second language research and even publications concerning collocations (e.g., Granger & Meunier, 2008; Lewis, 2000; Schmitt, 2004; Wood, 2010).

In sum, while the effect of some mobile phone affordances such as SMS, voice-messaging, cameras, video-recording, and Internet access have spawned studies (e.g., Jee, 2011; Thornton & Houser, 2005), “Few studies have investigated students’ personal use of mobile applications for learning and the learning benefits” (Steel, 2012, p.1). So, lack of enough research on the effects of Telegram messaging application in teaching and learning and because of widespread use of this messaging application among the learners in societal environments and educational institutions, a study is demanded. In other words, the purpose of this study is to find out whether teaching collocations via telegram will result in better collocation learning and retention more than using traditional equipment or classical techniques.


Technological progresses in the age of technology and advancement have made it mandatory for the teachers to employ mobile applications as a tool to help in learning and teaching process. In other words, with the great influence that Internet and SNSs had on people’s lives, no one can ignore the role of new mobile applications in education. It can be said that these SNSs especially mobile applications are becoming perhaps the most popular connective tools among language learners not only at the higher level of education but also in high school settings (Qarajeh & Abdolmanafi-Rokni, 2015) since this type of learning is beneficial for foreign language learners and considerably increases students’ interest in the topic.

Consequently, Telegram application can be used as an ideal solution for learning barriers in terms of time and place. This application seems to have an impact on language education as well as collocation learning as one form of language chunks. Language chunks especially collocations help learners acquire the language more quickly and efficiently (Deveci, 2004). The knowledge of collocations enables non-native speakers to add some flavor to their speech. Regarding what has been said, collocations are prefabricated language chunks that are needed and should be highlighted in EFL classes. They should be incorporated in language teaching syllabus.

To sum up, EFL learners and teachers should consider the usefulness of Telegram in learning and retention of collocational knowledge in high school education without ignoring the contribution of traditional methods and equipment. Furthermore, both of these methods (i.e., traditional and applications-based) of learning and teaching should be seen as complementary rather than contradictory. Every implication along the history of EFL enormously contributed in shaping the process of teaching and learning.

This study has some pedagogical implications. Firstly, although the findings of this study are encouraging in language learning domain, the mere readiness and eagerness of students in exploiting the telegram pedagogically does not guarantee the successful integration of social networks in general and telegram application in particular in collocation learning among Iranian EFL learners. Teachers at high schools should be aware of the advances of communication and technology as well as their assumptions to the field of education because there are a lot of mobile applications in students’ reach every year. Of course, the students can also benefit from the knowledge sharing on the net rapidly. Secondly, based on the findings of the current study, the ministry of education as the only source concerning high school education in Iran must provide the essential materials (e.g., technical and pedagogical), conditions, and opportunities to engage at least the students’ free time in touch with their peers. Moreover, educational departments, policy makers, syllabus designers, and even instructors have also the responsibility to supply necessary resources to create the effective learning and teaching environment through media-based equipment and methods. Thirdly, the findings of this study would rather suggest that every EFL syllabus and test designer include some exercises on collocational combinations through SNSs to be done outside the classroom settings since SNSs are beneficial for the learners for self-assessment outside the classroom environment. They not only can help the students practice individually but also provide a partner for their peers and classmates to work. Utilization of these networks can also help the teachers easily evaluate their students’ progress even during the instructional process.

English teachers should be encouraged to spend some more time for application-based training in their classes and they should also assign more importance to Telegram application use in language development to make collocation learning more meaningful and effective for the students. In fact, Telegram application is among modern devices that can be used in the classroom environments safely even in secondary program school classes. Therefore, it is necessary to remember that foreign language teachers should be made aware of the benefits that Telegram-based instruction offers to the curriculum.

For above-mentioned statements, parents and instructors at first should reconsider their attitudes towards modern application use (e.g., they shouldn’t see Telegram using as a crime inside and outside the classroom settings) and take some measures to strengthen social and educational interaction. In this regard, they should play their roles as supervisors, collaborators, and facilitators to support the students know what is appropriate and what is not in their language process. Furthermore, EFL teachers as well as parents should be trained about the use of new technologies so as to enhance their performance and mastery of technical material.

A further implication goes for the learners that are expected to make mobile as a part of their teaching process (e.g., using mobile applications for sending and receiving homework assignments, blogging, surfing the Internet, etc.). Since using mobile has numerous capabilities, EFL learners can also use the mobile applications for their self-assessment, improving autonomy outside the classroom settings, enhancing language skills, and decreasing the anxiety related to attending in an EFL classrooms. The last but not the least implication is that teachers and scholars are expected to utilize the findings of this study as a foundation for addressing the use of Telegram in improving collocational knowledge in public high schools as well as institutes and continue performing further studies for more discoveries. Further investigations in this area undoubtedly is required to ascertain whether SNSs in general and Telegram in particular has positive effects on learning and remembering collocations among Iranian high school students in order to make a conclusive remark.

As each research in its era faces a number of limitations which cannot be avoided, the present study like all other studies in social sciences encounter some limitations that point to further investigations and opportunities. In this section, limitations of the present study and the strategies to tackle are mentioned. The first limitation of this study was related to gender selection. Due to students’ separation based on gender in Iranian high school classrooms, privacy problems concerning virtual tools, schools’ regularities, and moral considerations, the researcher had to focus only on female participants and ignored to investigate the effect of telegram as a social interactive tool on high school male beginner level EFL students. The second limitation of this study was that it was carried out with high school secondary program students with beginner language proficiency level only at one high school out of numerous public high schools in Iran. If other researchers examine the same issue by different `participants in other schools, the outcome might show different results. Thirdly, since the researchers had access to only a limited number of female participants, this may decrease the degree of generalizability of the findings. In other words, the findings because of having small participants cannot be generalized to all EFL learners and all levels of language proficiency. Finally, it should be pointed out that one important limitation regarding similar studies is that some parents as well as some instructors may think that using Telegram and similar applications are a crime outside and inside the classroom. They think that intensive use of mobile applications by the students has negative effects on the students’ learning process.

The results of this study indicated that teaching collocations by using Telegram improved collocation learning more than classical technique and methods. Based on the findings of the present study, the following suggestions may have effective results regarding the adopting Telegram as teaching and learning equipment in educational settings to develop the learners’ awareness of collocational knowledge. As this study has used quantitative methods to determine the effects of teaching collocations on enhancing collocational knowledge through Telegram, it is suggested further studies be directed towards investigating the effectiveness of using Telegram on language knowledge in general and collocations in particular qualitatively to examine the EFL learners’ attitudes, reactions, and preferences towards Telegram using in educational settings. As this study was administered focusing on one gender (females), therefore, it is suggested that similar studies be conducted on male participants to see whether males and females behave differently outside the educational settings. Another suggestion to other researchers in the field is that as this study was conducted with students studying at one of the English public high schools in Iran, for a certainty they should study with a wider groups of participants in a longer time period. So, in seeking to determine the impacts of teaching and learning collocations through Telegram, it is suggested to replicate this study with other schools, institutes, and groups of learners with different proficiency levels.

About KSRA

The Kavian Scientific Research Association (KSRA) is a non-profit research organization to provide research / educational services in December 2013. The members of the community had formed a virtual group on the Viber social network. The core of the Kavian Scientific Association was formed with these members as founders. These individuals, led by Professor Siavosh Kaviani, decided to launch a scientific / research association with an emphasis on education.

KSRA research association, as a non-profit research firm, is committed to providing research services in the field of knowledge. The main beneficiaries of this association are public or private knowledge-based companies, students, researchers, researchers, professors, universities, and industrial and semi-industrial centers around the world.

Our main services Based on Education for all Spectrum people in the world. We want to make an integration between researches and educations. We believe education is the main right of Human beings. So our services should be concentrated on inclusive education.

The KSRA team partners with local under-served communities around the world to improve the access to and quality of knowledge based on education, amplify and augment learning programs where they exist, and create new opportunities for e-learning where traditional education systems are lacking or non-existent.

FULL Paper PDF file:

The Impact of Telegram on Learning of Collocational Knowledge among EFL High School Students



Sedigheh Vahdat, Zohre Gooniband Shooshtari, Farhad Mazareian




The Impact of Telegram on Learning of Collocational Knowledge among EFL High School Students

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Applied Linguistics Research Journal



PDF reference and original file: Click here

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Nasim Gazerani was born in 1983 in Arak. She holds a Master's degree in Software Engineering from UM University of Malaysia.

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Professor Siavosh Kaviani was born in 1961 in Tehran. He had a professorship. He holds a Ph.D. in Software Engineering from the QL University of Software Development Methodology and an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Chelsea.

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Somayeh Nosrati was born in 1982 in Tehran. She holds a Master's degree in artificial intelligence from Khatam University of Tehran.

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