“Google and me together can read anything.” Online reading strategies to build independent readers in the ESL classroom.

Jose, K. (2021). “Google and me together can read anything.” Online reading strategies to build independent readers in the ESL classroom. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 17(2), 896-914.

This article provides the findings of a research study investigating the potential of reading using online texts or hypertexts in addition to print textbooks in the ESL reading classroom. The research examined and described the reading and navigation strategies used by students in reading online texts.

 It was found that readers demonstrated higher levels of comprehension in tests based on online texts. Given that in this digital age, and given the ubiquity of digital devices, many of us look to the internet as a primary source of information, the author argues the use of online texts in the reading classroom is a more authentic activity for students, one that they are more comfortable with in their daily lives. He further argues that the use of digital texts in developing online reading comprehension will support students in the development of their critical information literacy skills and foster lifelong reading habits.

The author concludes that ESL reading instructors should engage in strategy training to support students in the use of online texts to enhance reading comprehension, and to help to build lifelong, independent reading habits in ESL readers.  

Retrievable from: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1313909.pdf

Google Translate as a Tool for Self-Directed Language Learning

van Lieshout, C., & Cardoso, W. (2022). Google Translate as a tool for self-directed language learning. Language Learning & Technology, 26(1), 1–19.

Many language learners have to overcome obstacles when they want to learn a new language. This may result in them making attempts to learn the language on their own. This study looks at three features that define successful self-directed learners: self-motivation, use of independent learning strategies and an ability to self-assess whether those strategies are effective. The authors look to affordances of Google Translate that can help to enable self-directed learning.

The study provides background on both self-directed learning and self-directed language learning and examines the impact of Google Translate on the latter in the areas of vocabulary and pronunciation.

The study explored these two questions:

To what extent can learners acquire phrases and their pronunciations after using Google Translate in a self-directed language learning environment?

How do learners interact with Google Translate to learn an L2?

Although the study looked at learners of Dutch as a foreign language, because Google Translate is widely available, the findings will be of interest for many learners who want to learn and continue to learn on their own and to teachers who would like to include some of these self-directed tools for use beyond the classroom.

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Here are two quite different studies of Google Translate in second language learning:

A “Hands-On” Approach to Raise Awareness of Technologies: A Pilot Class and its Lessons

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Using an ADAPT Approach to Integrate Google Translate into the Second Language Classroom

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