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Research Brief: Uses of Technology in the Instruction of Adult English Language Learners

Posted on 05/04/2009

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Education providers in California serving ESL learners have long focused on integrating technology into the curriculum.  In this brief from the Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA) network, the author provides a comprehensive and succinct overview of the research related to how technology can be used in the instruction of adult English language learners to facilitate their acquisition of English proficiency.  According to the research cited in the brief, using technology with ESL learners provides an array of benefits, including:

  • the "flexibility to extend learning beyond that available in a formal program and thus increase opportunities for language and literacy learning."
  •  "new, dynamic opportunities for interaction among students and between teachers and students."
  • reduces the digital divide “by helping these students develop a basic understanding of computers and technology."
  • facilitates "their progress toward proficiency in English."

The brief also discusses three ways of using technology with adults learning English – on site, blended, and online - and cites specific studies of these delivery systems. The brief concludes by identifying issues to consider when using technology and suggesting that "further research is needed on the impact of different uses of technology and on uses that promote English acquisition over time."

The CAELA newsletter, with a link to the full brief, is now online.

 Source:  CAELA Network Newsletter