Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 14. Number 3 September 2023                                       Pp. 445-461

Full paper PDF

The Acceptance of TikTok as a Tool in English Language Learning among University

 Nor Eleyana Abdullah1, Faizah Mohamad2, *Mafarhanatul Akmal Ahmad Kamal3,
Ilham Alia Mat Isa4
1,2,3,4Academy of Language Studies
Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
Corresponding author:


Received:03/18/2023         Accepted:09/08/2023                 Published: 09/24/2023

TikTok is considered a potential tool for enhancing the development of students’ language skills and proficiency. However, research on the extent of students’ acceptance of using it as a language learning tool is limited. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the level of acceptance of TikTok in English language learning and the factors contributing to the actual use of TikTok among undergraduate students in Malaysia. This study employed quantitative research methodology by disseminating a 32-item questionnaire to 200 undergraduate students at a public Malaysian university via a Google Form link. Sections A, B, C, D, E, and F of the questionnaire sought responses on the demographic profile, perceived usefulness, ease of use, attitudes, behavioural intention, and actual use of TikTok in English language acquisition, respectively. The findings revealed that the average scores for the individual items and the overall scores for each component being studied were within the range of 3 to 4.1 on a 5-point Likert scale. This result indicated that the student’s level of acceptance was above average. Students’ behavioural intentions were also found to be the most significant factor in determining whether or not TikTok was used for English language instruction. Students acknowledged the use of TikTok in English language learning, suggesting that it could be used as a pedagogical instrument in English language classrooms. Consequently, the findings highlight TikTok’s potential as a language learning tool in English language courses, as it strengthens educational platforms and enhances instruction by giving students more ways to learn languages.
Keywords: acceptance, English language learning, Technology Acceptance Model, TikTok

Cite as: Nor Eleyana Abdullah, Faizah Mohamad, Mafarhanatul Akmal Ahmad Kamal, & Ilham Alia Mat Isa. (2023). The acceptance of TikTok as a tool in English language learning among university students. Arab World English Journal, 14 (3) 445-461.


Adnan, A.I., Ramli, S. &Isma Noornisa Ismail,I.N. (2021). Investigating the usefulness of TikTok as an educational tool. International Journal of Practices in Teaching and Learning (IJPTL), 1(2), 1-5.

Al-Khasawneh, M., Sharabati, A., Al-Haddad, S., Tbakhi, R., & Abusaimeh, H. (2022). The adoption of TikTok application using TAM model. International Journal of Data and Network Science, 6(4), 1389-1402.

Al-Maatouk, Q., Othman, M. S., Aldraiweesh, A., Alturki, U., Al-Rahmi, W. M., & Aljeraiwi, A. A. (2020). Task-technology fit and technology acceptance model application to structure and evaluate the adoption of social media in academia. IEEE Access, 8, 78427-78440.

Al-Maroof, R., Ayoubi, K., Alhumaid, K., Aburayya, A., Alshurideh, M., Alfaisal, R., & Salloum, S. (2021). The acceptance of social media video for knowledge acquisition, sharing and application: A comparative study among YouTube users and TikTok users for medical purposes. International Journal of Data and Network Science, 5(3), 197–214.

Azlan, N. A., Zakaria, S., Yunus, M.M. (2019). Integrative Task-Based Learning: Developing Speaking Skill and Increase Motivation via Instagram. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 9(1), 620–636.

Azman,A.N., Rezal, N.S.A., Zulkeifli,N.Y.,  Mat,N.A.s. , Saari, I.S. & Ab Hamid. A.  (2021). Acceptance of TikTok on the youth towards education development. Borneo International Journal, 4(3), 19–25.

Bhatti, A. (2018). Sales promotion and price discount effect on consumer purchase intention with the moderating role of social media in Pakistan. Science Arena Publications International Journal of Business Management, 3(4), 50-58. 2520-5943

Bhatti, A., Bano, T., & Rehman, S.U. (2019). Social media and consumer satisfaction effect on consumer purchase intention with the moderating role of trust. International Journal of Business Management, 4(2), 131-141.

Charness, N., & Boot, W. (2016). Technology, gaming, and social networking. In K. W. Schaie & S. L. Willis (Eds.), Handbook of the Psychology of Aging (8th ed., pp. 389-407). Elsevier Inc.

Chen, J. (2022). Applying TAM to the adoption of e-learning platform. In 2022 3rd International Conference on Mental Health, Education and Human Development (MHEHD 2022), 1141-1146. Atlantis Press.

Davis, F. D. (1989). Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and user acceptance of information technology. MIS Quarterly, 13(3), 319-339.

Denker, K. J., Manning, J., Heuett, K. B., & Summers, M. E. (2018). Twitter in the classroom: Modelling online communication attitudes and student motivations to connect. Computers in Human Behavior, 79, 1-8.

Desta, M. A., Workie, M. B., Yemer, D. B., Denku, C. Y., & Berhanu, M. S. (2021). Social media usage in improving English language proficiency from the viewpoint of medical students. Advances in Medical Education and Practice 2021, 12, 519–528.

Diana Anak Ipan, Wendy Kulan Anak Igai, Claudia Christy Blaise, & Melor Md Yunus, (2020). Chapter 17: Enhancing form 4 pupils’ speaking skills via TikTok. Changing Lives in Brilliant Ways series 2 (17), 105–108

Faktor, C. (2021, April 12). TikTok is a thriving learning community—and may be the future of education. Fast Company.

Fishbein, M., & Ajzen, I. (1975), Belief, attitude, intention and behavior: an introduction to theory and research. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Granić, A., &Marangunić, N. (2019). Technology acceptance model in educational context: A systematic literature review. British Journal of Educational Technology, 50(5), 2572-2593.

Gürbüz, S. (2017). Survey as a quantitative research method. Research Methods and Techniques in Public Relations and Advertising, 141-62.

Iliyasu, R., &Etikan, I. (2021). Comparison of quota sampling and stratified random sampling. Biometrics & Biostatistics International Journal, 10(1), 24-27.

Iqbal, O. (2020, June 18). TikTok makes moves into education market. BBC News.

Israel, G. D. (2013). Determining sample size. Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences (IFAS). University of Florida. PEOD-6, 1-5.

Kaye, D. B., Chen, X., & Zeng, J. (2020). The co-evolution of two Chinese mobile short video apps: Parallel platformization of Douyin and TikTok. Mobile Media & Communication, 8(2),340-335. 952120

Lacka, E., Wong, T. C., & Haddoud, M. Y. (2021). Can digital technologies improve students’ efficiency? Exploring the role of Virtual Learning Environment and Social Media use in Higher Education. Computers & Education, 163, 104099.

Lindade, C. (2020). Using TikTok to engage speaking skills. Appi e-Journal. Available at

Literat, I. (2021). “Teachers Act Like We’re Robots”: TikTok as a window into youth experiences of online learning during COVID-19. AERA Open, 7 (1), 1-15.

Kamal,M.A.A. Ramly,B.  ZarainiN.S., & Isa, I.A.M. (2022). Understanding the continuance intention to learn using Google Classroom (GC) in online classes: Decomposed technology acceptance model based. International Journal of Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics, 6(1), 14–29.

Marikyan, D., & Papagiannidis, S. (2022). Technology acceptance model: A review. Theory Hub Book.

Maslin M. (2007). Technology acceptance model and e-learning. 12th International Conference on Education, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Education Universiti Brunei Darussalam.Technology, 21(24), p. 81.

Muftah, M. (2022). Impact of social media on learning English language during the COVID-19 pandemic. PSU Research Review, 2399-1747.

Mustafa, A. S., & Garcia, M. B. (2021). Theories integrated with technology acceptance model (TAM) in online learning acceptance and continuance intention: A systematic review. In 2021 1st Conference on Online Teaching for Mobile Education (OT4ME) (pp. 68-72). IEEE.

Namazlandost, E., & Nasri, M. (2019). The impact of social media on EFL learners’ speaking skill: A survey study involving EFL teachers and students. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Language Research, 6(3), 199-215

Ismail,N,S.C. Karthigesu, K.  Ahmad, W.I.W.& Yunus. M.M. (2019). TikTok ActiV in enhancing ESL pupils’ writing skill focusing on action verbs. International Journal of Innovative and Applied Research, 7(1), 17–22.

Pratiwi, A. E., Ufairah, N. N., & Sopiah, R. S. (2021). Utilizing TikTok application as media for learning English pronunciation. Proceedings International Conference on Education of Suryakancana 2021, 12, 372-382.

Putri, R. P. (2021). TikTok as an online learning media during a pandemic (Case study: Dance creativity course). Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Education & Social Sciences, 578, 282-287.

Queirós, A., Faria, D., & Almeida, F. (2017). Strengths and limitations of qualitative and quantitative research methods. European Journal of Education Studies, 3(9), 369-387.

Ramayah, T., & Ignatius, J. (2005). Impact of perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and perceived enjoyment on intention to shop online. ICFAI Journal of Systems Management (IJSM), 3(3), 36-51.

Si Xi. (2020). Short Video — A new approach to language international education. In communication trends in the post-literacy era: Polylingualism, multimodality and multiculturalism as preconditions for new creativity. Ural University Press, 121–129.

Sprenger, D. A., & Schwaninger, A. (2021). Technology acceptance of four digital learning technologies (classroom response system, classroom chat, e-lectures, and mobile virtual reality) after three months’ usage. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 18(1), 8.

Taber, K., (2017). The use of Cronbach’s alpha when developing and reporting research instruments in Science Education. Research in Science Education, 48(6), 1273 -1296.

Taherdoost, H. (2019). Importance of technology acceptance assessment for successful implementation and development of new technologies. Global Journal of Engineering Sciences, 1(3), 1-3.

Tan, K. H., Rajendran, A., Nazri Muslim, Jamsari Alias, & Nor Afian Yusof. (2022). The Potential of TikTok’s Key Features as a Pedagogical Strategy for ESL Classrooms. Sustainability, 14(24), 16876, 1-22.

Turner, M., Kitchenham, B., Brereton, P., Charters, S., & Budgen, D. (2010). Does the technology acceptance model predict actual use? A systematic literature review. Information and Software Technology, 52(5), 463-479.

Valverde-Berrocoso, J., Garrido-Arroyo, M. D. C., Burgos-Videla, C., & Morales-Cevallos, M. B. (2020). Trends in educational research about e-learning: A systematic literature review (2009–2018). Sustainability, 12(12), 5153.

Warshaw, P. R., & Davis, F. D. (1985). Disentangling behavioural intention and behavioural expectation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 21, 213-228.

Xiuwen, Z., & Abu Bakar Razali. (2021). An overview of the utilisation of TikTok to improve oral English communication competence among EFL undergraduate students. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 9(7), 1439–1451.

Yadav, M. S. (2021). Role of social media in English language learning to the adult learners. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation (IJLLT), 4(1), 238–246.

Yélamos-Guerra, M. S., García-Gámez, M., & Moreno-Ortiz, A. J. (2022). The use of TikTok in higher education as a motivating source for students. Porta LinguarumRevistaInteruniversitaria de Didáctica de las Lenguas Extranjeras, (38), 83-98.

Zaitun, Z., Hadi, M. S., & Indriani, E. D. (2021). TikTok as a media to enhancing the speaking skills of EFL students. Jurnal Studi Guru Dan Pembelajaran, 4(1), 89-94.

Received: 03/18/2023
Accepted: 09/08/2023 
Published: 09/24/2023 

Nor Eleyana Abdullah is a lecturer from the Academy of Language Studies, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Shah Alam. She has been teaching at UiTM for 8 years. Her area of interests includes Discourse Analysis, Genre Analysis, Language Teaching and Learning, Sociolinguistics, and Computer-assisted Language Learning (CALL).

 Faizah Mohamad, Ph.D., is an associate professor and senior lecturer at the Academy of Language Studies at UniversitiTeknologi MARA (UiTM) Shah Alam, Malaysia. Her research is situated in the field of technology-enhanced learning, ICT in education, e-learning in higher education, and online educationORCID ID:

 Mafarhanatul Akmal Ahmad Kamal is a lecturer at the Academy of Language Studies at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Shah Alam, Malaysia. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in English Language Studies specialising in Applied Linguistics and her research interests include Applied linguistics, English Language Studies, psycholinguistics, bilingualism, and eye tracking. ORCID ID:

 Ilham Alia Mat Isa is currently a lecturer servicing at the Academy of Language Studies (APB), UiTM Shah Alam, Malaysia. Her research interests are mainly related to Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL).  ORCID ID: