Towards an Investigation of Language Learners’ (Non)Use of Online Technology

  • Shuang ZengEmail author


This chapter orientates the reader to understanding why it is necessary and important to investigate language learners’ actual use of online technology outside the university classroom. Firstly, this chapter introduces the emergence and nature of Web 2.0 technologies. It then sets out to demonstrate the promise of Web 2.0 for language learning and thus the learning opportunities offered by Web 2.0 outside the classroom. Additionally, given the ‘digital native’ rhetoric, many CALL practitioners believe that there is an ongoing change in language learning and that learning practices are increasingly drawn towards the adoption of Web 2.0 technologies outside the classroom. Secondly, this chapter reviews the challenges to this optimistic belief. The scrutiny of these claims and debates has necessitated the focus of the present study on exploring learner-directed out-of-class language learning with the current web. The two central lines of argument are, firstly, whatever claims made about out-of-class language learning are questionable unless they have been levelled against language learners’ actual technology use and behaviours; secondly, if any, the resistance of language learners towards online technologies deserves more subtle investigation, as it may uncover possible barriers to the Web 2.0 transfer.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Shanghai for Science and TechnologyShanghaiChina

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