VocaBura: A method for supporting second language vocabulary learning while walking

Ari Hautasaari, Takeo Hamada, Kuntaro Ishiyama, Shogo Fukushima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Learning a new language is difficult and time-consuming. Apart from dedicated classroom study, second language (L2) learners often lack opportunities to switch their attention to vocabulary learning over other daily routines. In this work, we propose a method that enables L2 learners to study new vocabulary items during their dead time, such as when commuting to school or work. We developed a smartphone application, VocaBura, which combines audio learning with location-relevant L1-L2 word pairs to allow users to discover new vocabulary items while walking past buildings, shops and other locations. Our evaluation results indicated that Japanese beginner level English learners were able to retain more vocabulary items with the proposed method compared to traditional audio-based study despite being less aware of L2 vocabulary acquisition having occurred. In our second study, we report on the level of English vocabulary coverage for L2 learning achievable with our proposed method. We discuss several design implications for educational technologies supporting second language learning.

Original languageEnglish
Article number135
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Human-Computer Interaction


Dive into the research topics of 'VocaBura: A method for supporting second language vocabulary learning while walking'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this