Informal and deliberate learning with new technologies

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


Due to the ready availability of new technologies, opportunities for the incidental as well as deliberate practice of English have multiplied and far exceed what can be done in more formal environments. Yet, despite the sizeable literature on the classroom-based use of specific digital resources, few studies have investigated how students evaluate increased exposure to English in terms of learning potential. This article argues that online informal learning of English deserves more attention, and presents an empirical study surveying Austrian university students' practices and preferences related to new media in independent settings. The participants' perceptions of the usefulness of a range of digital resources for the acquisition of language skills are analysed and juxtaposed with their opinions on in-class use of technology. Results indicate a clear preference for well-established, time-honoured media (film, online dictionaries, email) in self-regulated contexts, as well as diverging opinions on the use of technologies in classroom settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401 - 412
JournalELT Journal (English Language Teaching Journal)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 602008 English studies
  • 503029 Language teaching research

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