Event date:

WA Distinguished Professors’ Lectures: Online language learning: How effective is it?

WA Distinguished Professors’ Lectures Series features internationally renowned scholars visiting the Faculty of English to share their research and professional expertise with the faculty and students. This time we have the honour to host Prof. Shawn Loewen, who is staying with as a Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Humanities and Social Sciences. He will deliver a lecture “Online language learning: How effective is it?” that will take place on 17 December 2021 (Friday) at 1:15 p.m. on MS Teams.

Online language learning: How effective is it?
Prof. Shawn Loewen
Friday, December 17, 1:15 p.m. on MS Teams LINK TO LECTURE

The use of online resources for second language learning has been popular for years. However, with the increase in online instruction due to the pandemic, the use of such materials has increased even more. However, instructed second language acquisition (ISLA) researchers have been slow to investigate these resources, in part because of some of the strong claims made by commercially available programs, (e.g., Speak a language in 21 days. Most people can speak within 5 hours. 90-95% success rate with 35 hours.) Nevertheless, I maintain that ISLA research should be interested in any of the ways that individuals attempt to learn a second language, regardless of our own feelings about their effectiveness. This presentation examines several types of online language learning resources, such as commercial language learning apps and video-conferencing platforms, and considers empirical evidence for their effectiveness (or lack thereof). Issues pertaining to pedagogical approaches and user motivation will be addressed, in addition to evidence of language learning by learners.