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Technology’s Impact on SLA: A Response to Bhatia and Ritchie (2009)

Miller, Andrew

Bhatia and Ritchie (2009) focus on the positive impact of technology, specifically “the potential and promise of technology in shaping and reshaping the direction of research on SLA and in providing a potential testing ground for current theories of SLA” (p. 545). Their enthusiastic assessment, subsequently elaborated from the perspectives of users and researchers, seems intuitively relevant in this age. Nevertheless, it is important to acknowledge technology’s limitations in language education. For example, Bhatia and Ritchie (2009) accurately observe that the emergence of technology is responsible for “the democratization of language teaching” (p. 547) to the degree that it facilitates exposure both to less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) and to almost never taught languages (ANTLs). This democratization emerges as problematic for researchers in that it generates a level of participant assimilation within a technology-driven learning space that tends to obscure not only important inter-learner differences, but also the differential effects on acquisition of technology.

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Title
Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics

More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Published Here
November 6, 2015