This paper examines informants’ perceptions on how massive introduction of computers and the Internet has impacted language learning. This descriptive study contains the voices of a cohort of twelve students from two highly technological schools in Catalonia following the one-laptop-per-child program. The subjects were paired into six same-age, gender-discordant couples and were interviewed weekly during the second term of the 2014 academic year. The in-depth, semi-structured interviews focused attention on digital language learning in the three languages of instruction—Catalan, Spanish, and English—with an emphasis on reading and writing. Results show that while initial attitudes towards digitization are generally positive among students, they identify a number of hindering factors that gradually decrease the initial motivation. Literacy is digitized, but not so digital. Reading practices preserve the characteristics of paper-based reading mainly because of the format of textbooks and the type of assessment. Some writing practices are more elaborate and there are events of innovation in projects led by individual teachers. Daily writing practices are said to be interactive, but this is generally computer-human interaction, rather than social interaction on the web. Online language resources such as dictionaries and spell and grammar checkers are presented to the students as possible resources to use, but are not fully taught. Machine translation software is proscribed by teachers, yet used and developed by students as the key resource in their multilingual reading and writing.
|Keywords:||Online Language Resources, Reading and Writing, Digital Language Learning, One-Laptop-Per-Child Program|
Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Translation and Language Sciences, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Catelonia, Spain