Technology, Motivation and Autonomy, and Teacher Psychology in Language Learning: Exploring the Myths and Possibilities

Glenn Stockwell and Hayo Reinders. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics (2019) 39, 40-51.

This article explores why the expectations of technology use in language teaching and learning might exceed the results and looks at some of the myths about using technology for language learning and teaching. The authors reference Stephen Bax‘ points about certain fallacies that inhibit the normalization of technology use. They discuss the kinds of pedagogy that need to be applied to ensure learner motivation and autonomy. They also discuss the role of teachers and their attitudes that often underestimate their own abilities to teach effectively with technology and overestimate learners’ capability to learn with tech tools without teacher intervention. The article concludes with five pedagogical principles for using technology in the classroom.

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Augmented and Virtual Reality in the Language Classroom: Practical Ideas

Bonner, E., Reinders, M. Augmented and Virtual Reality in the Language Classroom: Practical Ideas. Teaching English with Technology. (2018), 18,3 :33-53

This article provides a useful and accessible overview of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) and the potential for these technologies to support and enhance language teaching and learning.  Many of us, perhaps without knowing it, are already using augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR), in applications such as Google Translate, filters in Snapchat and Instagram, and in virtual tours of museums and art galleries such as The British Museum and The Louvre.

The article serves as an introduction to technology that isn’t in widespread use in language learning. It includes some interesting examples from foreign language courses that have tried out some AR/VR techniques and tools. For example, the descriptions of the affordances of the tools used in one of the activities to help improve presentation skills gives insight into what is possible. In each of the examples the authors provide step by step guides on how to set up and use these learning activities with students. The article also provides guidance around specific privacy and security issues that may arise with AR/VR as well as financial ones.

Although language educators are in the early stages of the use of these technologies for language learning, and challenges particularly related to general availability in the realm of language teaching remain, they have significant and exciting potential to enhance student engagement, extend learning, and to bridge the gap between formal and informal language learning.

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