Testing a Research-Based Digital Learning Tool
Chinese EFL Children’s Linguistic Development
Keywords:foreign language learning, English language learning, digital language learning activities, young Chinese learners
This study examines the English language learning outcomes of young Chinese L1 children when using a digital self-guided learning tool, ABCmouse English, created by Age of Learning, Inc. and designed based on principles of second language research. In a pretest, posttest study design, experiment group participants used the digital learning tool to engage in English language learning activities for 15–20 minutes daily for six months while a control group used a comparable digital tool to do online math activities for an equivalent amount of time. Results showed that experiment group learners demonstrated significantly greater English language gains than control group peers. Data from parent surveys support these results, shedding light on children’s overall engagement in the activities, and providing information about their motivation and confidence levels in English. Findings show that the research-based digital language learning activities in ABCmouse English were effective at promoting learning in this population, supporting the idea that teachers and parents can use tools like this to help younger learners develop English language skills in English as a Foreign Language contexts like China.
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