Exploring the Theory of Activity in English Language Writing: The Case for WhatsApp
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Smartphones, Whatsapp application, Perceptions, Acceptance, Mobile learning, Language writing.

How to Cite

Haron, H. ., & Rahmat, N. H. . (2020). Exploring the Theory of Activity in English Language Writing: The Case for WhatsApp. International Journal of Asian Social Science, 10(11), 671–684. https://doi.org/10.18488/journal.1.2020.1011.671.684


WhatsApp is a social media application that is used widely by people today and enables mobile and ubiquitous learning at a different level. This study evaluated the use of mobile instant messaging tools to support teaching and learning in higher education. A total of 66 students in Penang use smartphones with WhatsApp were assigned into experimental and control groups. Besides the traditional classroom learning for both groups, the experimental group was also supported by the teacher-student interaction via WhatsApp outside school hours. The participants of the control group used WhatsApp only for scholarly communication. Pre-test scores were used as the covariate. The marginal means on the post-test scores showed that the participants in the experimental group performed better than those in the control group. The intervention of WhatsApp improved the learning achievement of the participants. The strength of the intervention between the two groups was medium to large. A questionnaire designed by the author was administered at the end of the study. The participants showed positive perception and acceptance of the use of WhatsApp for teaching and learning. The typical usability issues on mobile learning were found to be valid. The use of the WhatsApp application enables to improve learners' writing performance, classroom engagement, academic achievement as well as enriches learners' writing that leads to a sustainable student. It is also recommended that the study be conducted for a more extended period in order to determine the consistency and sustainability of the learners' improvements in writing utilizing the WhatsApp application.

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