Iranian EFL Learners’ Preferences of Different Digital Technologies for Language Learning Beyond the Classroom

Ismail Xodabande

Abstract


In recent years, increasing availability of digital technologies and internet connection for the majority of global population has affected almost every aspect of modern life including education and language learning. As a result, the face of language learning is changing both inside and outside the classroom and there is an ever growing need to study various affordances of these new technologies in education and learners’ and teachers’ attitudes towards using them. To this end, the current study investigated Iranian EFL learners’ preferences regarding the use of different digital technologies for language learning beyond the classroom and their beliefs on how these technologies augment their language skills. To collect participants’ data, an online questionnaire was employed and responses from 114 Iranian EFL learners (50 males and 64 females) were obtained through a locally popular social media network. The results of the online survey revealed that participants use various media types and digital technologies for developing their language skills beyond the classroom, and electronic dictionaries, Internet sites, and films are among the highly employed multimedia types. Further statistical analysis (MANOVA) of data also revealed that despite some variation in frequency of use for various technology types among male and female participants, the two groups only have significant differences in using computer games and music. Findings of the study indicate that despite some imposed restrictions on social network and Internet use in Iran, most Iranian EFL learners are actively using them in their language learning beyond the classroom. On implication side, the paper discusses some benefits of using digital technologies for language learning and teaching.

Keywords


Digital Technologies in Language Learning, Language Learning Beyond the Classroom, Technology Preferences in Language Learning, CALL

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijels.v.6n.3p.20

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