Technology-Assisted Independent Study of English as a Second Language

Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Science in Educational Technology



Major Advisor

Ross A. Perkins


Technology may play an important role in the language learning efforts of non-native English speakers who are learning outside of a formal classroom setting. However, little is known about what technologies they use, for what ends they use technology, and whether their technology use is related to their independence as learners. This paper reports on a mixed methods study addressing these issues. Ten independent English language learners were interviewed regarding their technology use, and an electronic questionnaire was administered to 152 independent English language learners worldwide. Based on analyses of the interviews and questionnaire responses, the findings suggest that these learners use digital media, communication tools, and reference tools with much greater frequency than language learning software or websites, and the learners’ technology use focuses on reading, listening, and vocabulary more than other aspects of language learning. This has implications for computer assisted language learning researchers in terms of how this group of learners is being served and can be better served by technology.

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