Course description

Digital media have been widely incorporated into language classrooms, and with the rich user experiences afforded, most students accept this alternative approach with eagerness and excitement. Concerning such favor that digital media have won, this course attempts to guide students to (1) accumulate first-hand experience of operating several digital media platforms, and (2) further discover the acknowledged benefits to language learners, as well as the overlooked side effects (especially on how the target language is used and even perceived).

Course objective

This course aims to evoke awareness of  probable effects of digital media use on second language acquisition. Students are guided through structured lectures to reach an overall understanding of what L2 learning is and how it is affected by both internal and external factors. Current news events and research studies are covered as rich sources for further discussion on how L2 learners might benefit in a digital classroom (using mainly mobile applications, social networking websites, and open coursewares), but meanwhile risk being manipulated. Students are encouraged to participate in small group sharing and online discussion to boost their active and in-depth exploration of course topics.

Grading policy

  • Attendance 30%
  • Class participation 30%
  • Final oral presentation 40%

Contact information

  • Language, Learning and Technology (LLT) journal articles [Online]
    (Texts available for download on; assigned articles announced on class bulletin)
  • Other reference materials
    (Detailed information to be announced via iLearning)
Course schedule:
WK 1:  Course  overview
WK 2:  What  is  second  language  acquisition?
WK 3-4:  What  exactly  do  we  learn  about  a  second  language?
WK 5-6:  What  is  interlanguage?  What  about  language  transfer?
WK 7-8:  Who  decides  what  second  language  we  should  acquire? 
                How  powerful  could  digital  media  be?
WK 9-10:  What  are  the  most  admired  platforms  for  second  language  learners?
WK 11-12:  How  does  a  digital  classroom  facilitate  second  language  acquisition?
WK 13:  Why  don’t  we  just  replace  all  language  teachers  with  interactive digital  systems?
WK 14:  What  happens  when  digital  media  become  not  only  interactive  but  "manipulative"?
WK 15-16:  (Final  presentation)
Note: The class schedule is subject to change to accommodate student need and interest.
Please register for this course first to view teaching materials