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English Learning in the Digital Age

Agency, Technology and Context

Authors: Zeng, Shuang

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  • Reveals the gap between the rhetoric and reality of language learning with the current web
  • Analyses and explains the technology resistance in out-of-class English learning from a sociocultural perspective
  • Proposes a framework that explains choice of technology use among language learners
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About this book

Moving beyond the ‘Web 2.0’ and ‘digital native’ rhetoric, this book addresses the complex experiences of learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) in a world embedded with interactive and participatory technologies. Adopting a sociocultural perspective, it investigates EFL learners’ behaviours concerning digital technology, and guides exploration into their contextually mediated choices and learning practices in the ‘2.0’ era.
The argument is developed on the basis of the findings of a mixed sequential study that focused on 1485 Chinese undergraduates’ use and non-use of online tools and applications outside the English classroom. Particular attention is paid to the role of context and agency when understanding their learning choices and behaviours in the context of digital technology. In particular, the book acknowledges the explanatory power of agency in the minority instances of ‘good practices’ among these EFL learners. At the same time it demonstrates that for most learners, use of the current web is limited and mostly non-interactive. The barriers to ‘2.0’ transfer are largely contextual and the so-called ‘communicative opportunities’ and ‘participatory culture’ in particular did not fit into the learners’ sociocultural context of (language) learning.
Overall, the compelling argument proposes that the technology-facilitated changes in EFL practices are a ‘bottom up’ process that is taking place in day-to-day situations and constrained by the learning context within which the learner is situated. Based on these arguments, the book provides a framework that challenges the existing beliefs about (language) learning with online technology, and that contributes to our understanding of how context mediates EFL learners’ behaviours surrounding digital technologies. It is a valuable resource for teachers, researchers and policy makers, providing them with insights into using digital technology to stimulate ‘good learning practices’ outside the classroom.

About the authors

Shuang Zeng’s research focuses on foreign language learners and the impact of digital technology on foreign language learning. She is now lecturing at the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology. Shuang holds a BA in English literature from Sichuan International Studies University. She took her MA in examining e-learning at the University of Oxford and her PhD at the UCL Institute of Education.

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook n/a
  • ISBN 978-981-13-2499-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Hardcover n/a
  • ISBN 978-981-13-2498-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
English Learning in the Digital Age
Book Subtitle
Agency, Technology and Context
Authors
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Springer Singapore
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.
eBook ISBN
978-981-13-2499-4
DOI
10.1007/978-981-13-2499-4
Hardcover ISBN
978-981-13-2498-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 212
Number of Illustrations
17 b/w illustrations, 22 illustrations in colour
Topics