New ways of independent language learning in study abroad: How tech-savvy young people engage with language abroad

2019-02-08T22:02:58Z (GMT) by Levi Durbidge
Slides from a presentation to CLaSIC 2018: The Eighth CLS International Conference on 8th December 2018.


Study abroad presents some of the most fascinating contexts for investigating language learning, since it provides vast and ongoing opportunities to engage with and ‘live in’ the target language. Moreover, participants are often required to seek out ways to develop their language ability independently and autonomously while negotiating unfamiliar social contexts and new ways of being. Drawing on an investigation of 100 Japanese high school students, this presentation will show how technology is now an essential element of language learning contexts abroad, connecting with participants’ imagined identities and enhancing their L2 social interaction, networking and autonomous learning. The investigation analysed surveys, interviews and social media data of a year-long program, covering 20 destination countries and 13 second languages in total. Critically, I will argue that the current ubiquity of mobile technology is providing individuals with increased autonomy and new possibilities in managing and pursuing their own learning.