What’s the Use of Technology? Insights from EFL Classrooms in Chinese Secondary Schools

Part of the International Perspectives on English Language Teaching book series (INPELT)


Technology is believed to have benefits for learning. Since 2000, research has flourished in the use of technology in second and foreign-language (FL) learning (Chapelle 2000; Lim and Shen 2006). Recognising the important role teachers play in using technology for educational purposes, much work has been done to investigate teachers’ attitudes towards, and beliefs about, using technologies in the classroom (e.g. Baek et al. 2008; Li and Walsh 2011b). Results suggest that, overall, teachers demonstrate positive attitudes towards using technology, and various factors were reported to influence this (see Ertmer and Ottenbreit- Leftwich 2010; Li 2008; Tondeur et al. 2008). However, in terms of the actual use of technology in teaching, in a range of educational settings across different countries, studies indicate that teachers are reluctant technology users (see, for example, Li and Walsh 2011b; Yang and Huang 2008), although various forms of technology have been reported in language classrooms, including both stand-alone computer tools and web 2.0 technologies (see Liu et al. 2002, for a pre-2000 review, and also Macaro et al. 2012, for a post-2000 review).


Language Learning Technological Tool Pedagogical Belief Discourse Marker Language Classroom 
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Further reading

  1. Chapelle, C. A. and Jamieson, J. (2008). Tips for Teaching with CALL. Practic al Approaches to Computer-Assisted Language Learning. Pearson, Education Inc.Google Scholar
  2. This book is a professional reference with practical classroom approaches, and is firmly grounded in CALL research. It provides the reader with well-conceived and realistic approaches to language instruction using examples in different areas of language learning. The book links what the research says and what teachers can do in using CALL to connect pedagogical research with classroom techniques. The book includes interactive video clips and demonstration tips to show readers how to use various technology applications.Google Scholar
  3. Walker, A. and White, G. (2013). Technology Enhanced Language Learning: Connecting Theory and Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. As the title suggest, this book is a good example of how to link theory to practice, focusing on why and how technology can enhance learning. The book focuses on teaching language skills through technology, exemplified with various technological tools and reflective tasks. The book also covers how to use technology in specific areas (such as EAP), with particular groups of users (such as young learners). Attention is also given to important issues in using technology, such as assessment and material evaluation.Google Scholar
  5. Sharma, P. and Barrett, B. (2007). Blended Learning: Using Technology in and beyond the Language Classroom. Oxford: Macmillan Education.Google Scholar
  6. This book is aimed at any teacher who is interested in the use of technology in language learning. It is a useful guide to innovative ways of using technology with considerations of which technologies are best suited to different teaching styles and situations. It includes authentic examples and practical guidance.Google Scholar
  7. Chapelle, C. A. (2003). English Language Learning and Technology. John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. This book is suitable for teacher educators and teachers who are interested in understanding theories underpinning technology use in language learning. It explores various perspectives on how second-language-learning theories can help to inform technologyenhanced language-learning practices. It discusses issues of evaluating language learning, assessment, and learning tasks, and how technology can be brought into these areas.Google Scholar

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© Li Li 2015

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  • Li Li

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