Exploring perspectives of EFL students on using electronic dictionaries to improve vocabulary learning: A comparative study

Perspectives of EFL students on using electronic dictionaries


  • Hayat Alamri Taibah University
  • Hind Mousa Hakami


The purpose of this causal-comparative mixed-method study was to investigate and compare Saudi EFL female students' perspectives utilizing e-dictionaries to increase vocabulary learning in the Language Department (ELD) and those in the Preparatory Year Program (PYP) at Taibah University. The participants comprised (143) fourth-year students, while (152) PYP students volunteered in the study. The data was gathered using a 3-point Likert scale and an open-ended question that obtained 38 replies. The results of the descriptive statistics indicated that EFL female students in the ELD and PYP agreed on the advantages of e-dictionaries in terms of speed, time savings, and accurately translating words from L2 to L1 and vice versa. At the same time, EFL female PYP students agreed more on the benefits of using e-dictionaries to verify vocabulary meaning, comprehension, alternatives, extensive definitions and examples, and acquiring accurate pronunciation. On the contrary, EFL female students in the ELD were more enthusiastic about the benefits of e-dictionaries in demonstrating the grammatical usage of new vocabulary and accelerating vocabulary recall and retention. The results of the Mann-Whitney U test revealed that EFL female PYP students outperformed EFL female ELD students. The findings of the open-ended question showed that EFL students preferred "Google translation" and "Mobile Apps" more than "Paper dictionaries" as alternate strategies for vocabulary learning.