Technology-assisted L2 research in immersive contexts abroad
Abstract The recent technological shift in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) research has expanded our understanding of L2 development. Today, SLA research is equally as interested in the product of learning (accuracy) as in the cognitive processes that underlie changes in performance. Technological tools are necessary to investigate both, especially cognitive processes, which are more difficult to identify without precise procedures. The Study Abroad (SA) domain has echoed this trend. SA researchers have sought to explore the influence of the immersive experience on L2 development by combining concurrent data elicitation techniques – latency, eye-tracking, event-related potentials – with assessments of L2 performance, often in conjunction with measures of individual differences. In this article, we examine the contributions from recent cognitively-oriented SA studies that employ these techniques. We also include an overview of other technological resources employed in non-cognitively oriented studies, such as online surveys, blogs (i.e., public discussions and posts meant to be shared), and e-journals (i.e., on-going personal reflections), which have proved useful when answering important question related to learners’ motivation, identity, and intercultural competence. We conclude with recommendations for future research.
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