A Quantitative Analysis of the Students’ Experience with Digital Media in L2 Acquisition

Keywords: EFL, ESL, L2 acquisition, foreign languages, higher education, applied linguistics, psycholinguistics, eLearning.


Aim. Foreign language education widely utilizes various forms of eLearning or blended learning techniques and tools, and this trend has recently been supported and speeded up by the global pandemics of COVID-19. The study attempts to analyse the students’ experience with the use of digital media used for foreign language education with the aim of providing clear implications needed for future digital (online) language higher education.

Methodology. The methodology used to collect data was a questionnaire distributed online to the students of the University of Diyala in Iraq in July 2021 with n=394 making it a very representative and statistically relevant sample. Five hypotheses (H) were created and tested with these results. (H1) there is no correlation between a well-prepared teacher and subjective satisfaction of the students with online classes. (H2) the students will significantly prefer traditional teaching to online L2 acquisition. (H3) there will be a correlation between increased screen time and students´ dissatisfaction with online learning. (H4) the more they have to use digital media, the more they will prefer print text for their L2 acquisition. (H5) the most important subjectively perceived negative aspect of online learning will be reduced communication possibilities both with the tutor and with their peers. 

Results. The students significantly supported traditional foreign language techniques over digital ones despite the fact that the tutors were evaluated with very high grades by the students. Thus, the fact that the tutors are well prepared, they use modern technology and attempt to motivate the students very successfully, the final result of the online foreign language class did not prove to be parallel to the traditional class regarding students´ satisfaction.

Conclusions. The results could be important for applied linguistics and psycholinguistics as they provide a clear overview of the current state of affairs in L2 acquisition with the use of digital technologies, which is a crucial topic that is more and more important for the development of both psycholinguistics and applied linguistics. Despite the fact that this study deals only with the subjective satisfaction of the participants, it can be generalized and can be transferrable on a large geographical scale. This geographical limitation can be rectified by larger-scale research that can be initiated by this early study. There are many implications connected to these findings, such as moving towards non-digital learning tools, such as print textbooks, focusing on more personal discussions rather than just various online assignments. Moreover, the results of the study should be a contribution to the current scientific discussion about the development of psycholinguodidactics and its role in solving the problem of mastering foreign languages.


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Pikhart, M., Al-Obaydi, L. H., & Rehman, M. A. (2022). A Quantitative Analysis of the Students’ Experience with Digital Media in L2 Acquisition. PSYCHOLINGUISTICS, 31(1), 118-140. https://doi.org/10.31470/2309-1797-2022-31-1-118-140