Digital Technology in Language Education

« Back to TIRF's Research Priorities

Revised in 2015; First Adopted in 2004

This priority addresses the effects of digital technology on students’ English proficiency in relation to the availability and use of computers, tablets, and various mobile devices. This research priority also aims to address areas such as teachers’ and learners’ technical competences when using digital technologies, the quality of instructional software, increased access to authentic materials, and affordances for interaction through the use of games, social media, and communication via text and audio/video (e.g., Skype, WeChat, Google Hangouts, Facebook Chat, etc.).

We seek proposals addressing the following sorts of research questions:

  • What impact do technologically advanced self-access centers and other instructional resources in non-English-dominant countries have on students’ English proficiency?
  • Does English computer-mediated communication with other learners improve students’ English language/literacy skills and intercultural understanding, and if so, how?
  • What are the most effective ways of providing training to teachers regarding the use of new digital technologies (e.g., increasing digital teacher competences) for English language instructional purposes?
  • What access to target language interaction do language learners gain by participating in online gaming, social media, and chat platforms?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks learners, teachers, and school administrators derive from the use of mobile and digital handheld technology? Can digital technology be misapplied and waste precious resources?

We therefore seek proposals that examine one or more of the following interrelated themes. Studies in this area might include surveys of current student access to technology in ELT internationally; access to distance learning in English education and teacher education; and measures of the effectiveness of digital technologies (and teacher training in their use) for student learning. Also, studies might examine social factors related to access (e.g., socioeconomic status of countries/programs/students with variable levels of access to technology for English language learning); issues related to gender; and access as a function of academic domain (e.g., science & technology vs. arts & humanities). Other themes related to this research priority include blended learning and the changed classroom paradigm; speech technology; digital learning and the four skills; and digital assessment.

One comment

On Aug 31, 2016: Announcing TIRF’s 2016 DDG Awardees | The International Research Foundation for English Language Education said:
[…] Lee (TIRF-Cambridge DDG; Digital Technology in Language Education) is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Education, University College London. Her research […]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.