A comparative review of technology-assisted and non-technology concept mapping-based language learning

Fan SU, Di ZOU*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Concept mapping-based language learning (CMLL) has attracted increasing attention from the research community. Many studies have investigated non-technology-based CMLL (NTCMLL) and technology-based CMLL (TCMLL); however, the literature reveals no reviews comparing the two, which is needed because this can identify the differentiated applicability of technology-and non-technology-based CM activities for assisting language learning. Accordingly, the present study reviews 26 studies comparing NTCMLL with TCMLL regarding publication nature, theoretical framework, target language, learning outcomes, CM activities, and technologies used for concept mapping. The results show that (a) NTCMLL and TCMLL studies have become popular since 2016; (b) meaningful learning was the most common theoretical support; (c) English was the most commonly investigated language; (d) the most discussed learning outcomes were language acquisition and psychological states; (e) individual concept mapping was frequently used; and (f) ready-made tools were applied more than researchers’ self-developed systems. We also identify the similarities and differences between NTCMLL and TCMLL studies while discussing the important implications for their future design.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100319
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research Open
Early online date12 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024


  • Concept mapping
  • Language learning
  • Systematic review
  • Technology-based concept mapping


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