Introduction and Overview: The Inescapable Confluence of Technology, Psychology and Second Language Learners and Users

  • Mark R. FreiermuthEmail author
Part of the New Language Learning and Teaching Environments book series (NLLTE)


This chapter presents an overview of psychological constructs that affect second language learners and users as well as what role technology has played in affecting such constructs. Specifically, this chapter acts as a historical overview organizing research from the past few decades that presently form the foundation of what psychological elements are regarded as vital to our understanding of second language learners today. These range from unalterable cogitations and processing to those elements that directly involve students’ own input into the process, which consequently affects their perceptions. These constructs are then considered in light of how they are shaped by technology both inside the second language classroom and outside of it. The chapter concludes with an overview of the globally rich contributions this volume has to offer.


  1. Baddeley, A., & Hitch, G. (1974). Working memory. In G. A. Bower (Ed.), The psychology of learning and motivation (Vol. 8, pp. 47–89). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bandura, A. (2001). Social cognitive theory: An agentic perspective. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 1–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bax, S. (2003). CALL—Past, present and future. System, 31, 13–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beauvois, M. (1992). Computer-assisted classroom discussion in the foreign language classroom: Conversation in slow motion. Foreign Language Annals, 25, 455–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beauvois, M. (1995). E-talk: Attitudes and motivation in computer-assisted classroom discussion. Computers and the Humanities, 28, 177–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Belz, J. (2003). Linguistic perspectives on the development of intercultural competence in telecollaboration. Language Learning & Technology, 7, 68–99. Scholar
  7. Belz, J. (2005). Intercultural questioning, discovery and tension in Internet-mediated language learning partnerships. Language and Intercultural Communication, 5, 3–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brophy, J. (2008). Scaffolding appreciation for school learning: An update. In M. Maehr, S. Karabenick, & T. Urdan (Eds.), Advances in motivation and achievement: Volume 15: Social psychological perspective (pp. 1–48). Bingley: Emerald Publishing Group, Ltd.Google Scholar
  9. Carroll, J. (1962). The prediction of success in intensive foreign language training. In R. Glaser (Ed.), Training research in education (pp. 87–136). Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.Google Scholar
  10. Carroll, J. (1990). Cognitive abilities in foreign language aptitude: Then and now. In T. S. Parry & C. W. Stansfield (Eds.), Language in education: Theory and practice 74. Language aptitude reconsidered (pp. 11–27). Washington, DC: ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics/CAL; Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Regents/Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  11. Carroll, J., & Sapon, S. (1959). Modern Language Aptitude Test (MLAT). New York: The Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  12. Cervone, D., & Pervin, L. (2013). Personality: Theory and research. Oxford: Blackwell-Wiley.Google Scholar
  13. Cuban, L. (1993). How teachers taught: Constancy and change in American classrooms 1890–1980. New York: Longman.Google Scholar
  14. Deci, E., & Ryan, R. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York: Plenum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Deci, E., & Ryan, R. (2000). The “What” and “Why” of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11, 227–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dewaele, J. (2009). Individual differences in second language acquisition. In W. Ritchie & T. Bhatia (Eds.), The new handbook of second language acquisition (pp. 623–646). Bingley: Emerald Press.Google Scholar
  17. Dewaele, J. (2012). Learner internal psychological factors. In J. Herschensohn & M. Young-Scholten (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of second language acquisition (pp. 159–179). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Dörnyei, Z. (2005). The psychology of the language learner: Individual differences in second language acquisition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  19. Dörnyei, Z., Henry, A., & Muir, C. (2016). Motivational currents in language learning. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. Dörnyei, Z., & Ottó, I. (1998). Motivation in action: A process model of L2 motivation. Working Papers in Applied Linguistics, 4, 43–69.Google Scholar
  21. Dörnyei, Z., & Ryan, S. (2015). The psychology of the language learner revisited. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ehrman, M., & Oxford, R. (1988). Ants and grasshoppers, badgers and butterflies: Qualitative and quantitative exploration of adult language learning styles and strategies. Paper presented at the Symposium on Research Perspectives on Adult Language Learning and Acquisition, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.Google Scholar
  23. Ehrman, M., & Oxford, R. (1989). Effects of sex differences, career choice, and psychological type on adults’ language learning strategies. Modern Language Journal, 73(1), 13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ehrman, M., & Oxford, R. (1990). Adult language learning styles and strategies in an intensive training setting. Modern Language Journal, 74, 311–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ellis, R. (1985). Understanding Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Ellis, R. (2004). Individual differences in second language learning. In A. Davies & C. Elder (Eds.), The handbook of applied linguistics (pp. 525–551). Victoria, Australia: Blackwell Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Freiermuth, M. (1998). Small group on-line chat: The great equalizer. In P. Lewis (Ed.), Teachers, learners, and computers: Exploring relationships in CALL (pp. 81–86). Nagoya: The Japan Association for Language Teaching Computer-Assisted Language Learning Special Interest Group.Google Scholar
  28. Freiermuth, M., & Huang, H. (2012). Bringing Japan and Taiwan closer electronically: A look at an intercultural online synchronic chat task and its effect on motivation. Language Teaching Research, 16, 61–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Freiermuth, M., & Huang, H. (2018). Assessing willingness to communicate for academically, culturally, and linguistically different language learners: Can English become a virtual Lingua Franca via electronic text-based chat? In B. Zou & M. Thomas (Eds.), Handbook of research on integrating technology into contemporary language learning and teaching (pp. 57–85). Hershey, PA: IGI Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Freiermuth, M., & Jarrell, D. (2006). Willingness to communicate: Can online chat help? International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 16, 189–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gardner, R., & Lambert, W. (1959). Motivational variables in second language acquisition. Canadian Journal of Psychology, 13, 191–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Gardner, R., & Lambert, W. (1972). Motivational variables in second language acquisition. In R. Gardner & W. Lambert (Eds.), Attitudes and motivation in second language learning (pp. 119–216). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.Google Scholar
  33. Gardner, R., & MacIntyre, P. (1993). On the measurement of affective variables in second language learning. Language Learning Journal, 43, 157–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Gaved, M., Kukulska-Hulme, A., Jones, A., Scanlon, E., Dunwell, I, Lumeras, P., & Akiki, O. (2013). Creating incidental learning journeys on mobile devices through feedback and progress indicators. Paper presented at the 12th World Conference on Mobile Contextual Learning, Doha, Qatar.Google Scholar
  35. Godwin-Jones, R. (2018). Second language writing online: An update. Language Learning & Technology, 22, 1–15.Google Scholar
  36. Kramsch, C., A’Ness, F., & Lam, W. S. E. (2000). Authenticity and authorship in the computer-mediated acquisition of L2 literacy. Language Learning & Technology, 4, 72–95.Google Scholar
  37. Kukulska-Hulme, A. (2005). Mobile usability and use experience. In A. Kukulsak-Hulme & J. Traxler (Eds.), Mobile Learning: A handbook for educators and trainers (pp. 45–56). Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  38. Lin, J., & Lan, K. (2015). Language learning in virtual reality environments: Past, present, and future. Educational Technology & Society, 18(4), 486–497.Google Scholar
  39. MacIntyre, P., Clément, R., Dörnyei, Z., & Noels, K. (1998). Conceptualizing willingness to communicate in a L2: A situated model of confidence and affiliation. The Modern Language Journal, 82, 545–562.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Markus, H., & Nurius, P. (1986). Possible selves. American Psychologist, 41, 954–969.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Mercer, S. (2011). What is self-concept. In S. Mercer (Ed.), Towards an understanding of language learner self-concept (pp. 13–33). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Meunier, L. (1998). Personality and motivational factors in computer-mediated foreign language communication. In J. Muyskens (Ed.), New ways of learning and teaching (pp. 145–197). Boston: Heinle & Heinle.Google Scholar
  43. Naiman, N., Fröhlich, M., Stern, H., & Todesco, A. (1978). The good language learner. Research in Education Series No. 7. Toronto, ON: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.Google Scholar
  44. Norton, B. (2000). Identity and language learning: Gender, ethnicity and educational change. Essex: Longman/Pearson Education Ltd.Google Scholar
  45. Norton, B., & Toohey, K. (2001). Changing perspectives on good language learners. TESOL Quarterly, 35, 307–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Oldfather, P., & Dahl, K. (1994). Toward a social constructivist reconceptualization of intrinsic motivation for literacy learning. Journal of Reading Behavior, 26, 139–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Oldfather, P., West, J., White, J., & Wilmarth, J. (1999). Learning through children’s eyes: Social constructivism and the desire to learn. Washington DC: APA Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Oxford, R. (1990). Language learning strategies: What every teacher should know. New York: Newbury House/Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  49. Pellettieri, J. (2000). Negotiation in cyberspace: The role of chatting in the development of grammatical competency in the virtual foreign language classroom. In M. Warschauer & R. Kern (Eds.), Network-based language teaching: Concepts and practice (pp. 59–86). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Reinders, H., & Wattan, S. (2015). Affect and willingness to communicate in digital game-based learning. ReCALL, 27(1), 38–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Reinders, H., & White, C. (2016). 20 years of autonomy and technology: How far have we come and where to next? Language Learning & Technology, 20(1), 143–154.Google Scholar
  52. Ryan, R., & Deci, E. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Ryshina-Pankova, M. (2018). Discourse moves and intercultural communicative competence in telecollaborative chats. Language Learning & Technology, 22, 218–239. Scholar
  54. Schumann, J. (1978). The acculturation model for second-language acquisition. In R. Gringas (Ed.), Second language acquisition and foreign language teaching (pp. 27–50). Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics.Google Scholar
  55. Schwienhorst, K. (2003). Neither here nor there? Learner autonomy and intercultural factors in CALL environments. In D. Palfreyman & R. Smith (Eds.), Learner autonomy across cultures: Language education perspectives (pp. 164–179). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Skehan, P. (1998). A cognitive approach to language learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Skehan, P. (2002). Theorising and updating aptitude. In P. Robinson (Ed.), Individual differences and instructed language learning (pp. 69–94). Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Sternberg, R. J. (1994). Thinking styles: Theory and assessment at the interface between intelligence and personality. In R. Sternberg & P. Ruzgis (Eds.), Personality and intelligence (pp. 169–187). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  59. Sullivan, N., & Pratt, E. (1996). A comparative study of two ESL writing environments: A computer-assisted classroom and a traditional oral classroom. System, 29, 491–501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Swain, M. (2013). The inseparability of cognition and emotion in second language learning. Language Teaching, 46, 195207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Thorne, S., Black, R., & Sykes, J. (2009). Second language use, socialization, and learning in internet interest communities and online games. Modern Language Journal, 93, 802–821.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Ushioda, E. (1996). Developing a dynamic concept of motivation. In T. Hickey (Ed.), Language, education and society in a changing world (pp. 239–245). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  63. Ushioda, E. (1998). Effective motivational thinking: A cognitive theoretical approach to the study of language learning motivation. In E. Soler & V. Espurz (Eds.), Current issues in English language methodology (pp. 77–89). Castelló de la Plana, Spain: Universitat Jaume.Google Scholar
  64. Ushioda, E. (2001). Language learning at the university: Exploring the role of motivational thinking. In Z. Dörnyei & R. Schmidt (Eds.), Motivation and second language acquisition (pp. 91–124). Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.Google Scholar
  65. Ushioda, E. (2009). A person-in-context relational view of emergent motivations of self and identity. In Z. Dörnyei & E. Ushioda (Eds.), Motivation, language identity and the L2 self (pp. 215–228). Bristol: Mutlilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  67. Warschauer, M. (1995). E-mail for English teaching: Bringing the internet and computer learning networks into the language classroom. Alexandria, VA: TESOL.Google Scholar
  68. Warschauer, M. (1996). Comparing face-to-face and electronic discussion in the second language classroom. CALICO Journal, 13, 7–26.Google Scholar
  69. Warschauer, M. (1997). Computer-mediated collaborative learning: Theory and practice. The Modern Language Journal, 8, 470–481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Warschauer, M. (2000). CALL for the 21st Century. IATEFL and ESADE Conference, 2 July 2000, Barcelona, Spain. Retrieved from
  71. Warschauer, M., & Healey, D. (1998). Computers and language learning: An overview. Language Teaching, 31, 57–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Warschauer, M., Turbee, L., & Roberts, B. (1996). Computer learning networks and student empowerment. System, 14, 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gunma Prefectural Women’s UniversityTamamura-machi, GunmaJapan

Personalised recommendations