Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Secondary Education

Major Professor

John I. Liontas, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Janet C. Richards, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sanghoon Park, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Philip Smith, Ph.D.


AR-infused material, Augmented reality (AR), Idiom Diffusion Model (IDM), Idiomatic competence, Instructional Material Motivation Surey (IMMS)


Idiomatic competence poses a unique challenge on the second and foreign language learning process (Liontas, 1999). Multiple researchers have explored the perceptions and beliefs of language learners regarding idioms (Kömür & Çimen, 2009; Liontas, 2002a; Liontas, 2007). Other scholars have studied the role of technology in learning idioms (Amer, 2014; Andarab & Rouhi, 2014; Khoshnevisan, 2018a; Liontas, 2006). Additionally, researchers have widely investigated the impact of augmented reality (AR) on literacy development (Cheng & Tsai, 2014; Solak & Cakir, 2015). However, a thorough review of the related literature indicates few researchers have, to date, explored language learners’ perceptions about the use of Augmented Reality (AR) technology to learn idioms.

In this inquiry, I aimed to provide a bridge between the study of idiomaticity and the practice of increasing language learners’ motivation via augmented reality (AR). On the one hand, there exist concepts and theories concerning idiomaticity, AR, and motivation for learning a second language. On the other hand, there exist procedures and successful practices about using AR in language education and idioms. This study was a theory-to-practice bridge filling the existing praxis. The participants of this study were 50 Iranian students studying in the United States at the graduate level. The students engaged in learning English Vivid Phrasal (VP) idioms by means of traditional flashcards (control group) and AR-infused flashcards (experimental group).

I aimed to achieve three goals. Employing a mixed-methods inquiry, I first investigated possible changes in the participants’ level of idiom achievement—between two different methods (traditional and AR-infused flashcards). Second, I researched possible changes in the participants’ motivation levels between the two groups. Third, I explored the perceptions and experiences of the participants about the use of AR-infused flashcards to learn English VP idioms. Employing an explanatory descriptive case study, I delved into the participants’ experiences, perceptions, and beliefs about the technology used. I employed four types of data-collection practices—(1) idiom pre-test to test the participants’ prior idiomatic competence, (2) idiom post-test to measure possible changes in the participants’ idiomatic competence, (3) Instructional Material Motivation Survey (IMMS) to calculate the possible increase in the participants’ motivation level and (4) semi-structured interview to explore the participants’ experiences. I used independent/paired samples t-test and MANOVA test to analyze the quantitative data and the Constant Comparative Method (CMC) to analyze the qualitative data. As such, a mixed methods study was employed to measure the participants’ idiom achievement and motivation and explore the participants’ experiences about using AR-infused flashcards in learning English VP idioms.

The results indicate both traditional and AR-infused flashcards increased the participants’ English VP idiom achievements. However, the results revealed no significant difference between traditional flashcards and AR-infused flashcards when learning English VP idioms. Nonetheless, flashcards were useful in learning English VP idioms. The discoveries strongly suggest that AR-infused material—compared with traditional flashcards—increased the motivation level of the participants. More specifically, the data provided evidence that 1) The traditional flashcards made a statistically significant difference in the participants’ cognitive attainment in terms of English VP idioms, (2) AR-infused material is more effective on the participants’ motivation level in comparison to the traditional flashcards, and (3) AR-infused flashcards resulted in an increase in the participants’ motivation. Univariate analyses suggested that the increase occurred only for the two subscales of IMMS (attention and relevance). The other two subscales of IMMS (confidence and satisfaction) did not show significant differences in the control and experimental groups.