HOW UNDERGRADUATES ARE UTILIZING SMARTPHONE APPLICATIONS TO ENHANCE STUDYING ENGLISH IN PLATEAU STATE UNIVERSITY.
The gradual but steady inroad electronic devices are making in enhancing learning among university students all over the globe testifies of their importance in the learning space. This dependence through the use of smartphones has revolutionized learning at the higher level of education. The affordability of these phones has made it easier for students to own one or many of these devices. Moreover, not every classroom is equipped with desktops for all the students. Although the introduction of digital devices in Nigerian learningspace is relatively recent when compared to other countries around the world, Nigerian undergraduates are now making personal efforts in the use of applications on their smartphones to complement learning. We are motivated to undertake this study because researches in the areas of language teaching and learning have consistently pointed to challenges students encounter in the traditional face-to-face teaching and learning. This study, which is a marked departure from previous researches, investigates how students at Plateau State University are following on the heels of their peers to utilize such applications to improve their academic performance. Using purposeful random sampling, eighty-two students in the Department of English respond to a questionnaire. The study uses mixed methods approach to collect data. The major findings indicate that Nigerian students utilize discussion forums to improve their academic performance. This investigation's implication is that university students should be encouraged to identify with chat groups as they own personal smartphones to assist them improve academically. In addition, discussion forums help students develop confidence in self when presenting an argument as well as locate and source for materials independently outside the classroom.