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