Exploring the use of online machine translation for independent language learning

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The free availability of online machine translation (OMT) on the Internet via computers, tablets and smartphones makes it convenient for use by language students of all levels. Google Translate has been widely listed as an independent language learning (ILL) resource and we cannot deny its role for ongoing education.

We are aware of the fact that this developing piece of technology was not designed with language learning in mind and, as a consequence, has limited current abilities depending on the language pair, language direction, genre, etc. However, as educators, we cannot help but wonder how the students use it independently and what pedagogical implications this may have in the language class.

This study sets to analyse how language learners assess the usefulness of machine translation output and what they think about the use of OMT (in combination with other online language resources) for oral and written comprehension and production (e.g. writing and translation). This will help determining whether its use by language learners can be counterproductive or whether, if used wisely, can assist ILL and help boosting language instant communication.
Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch in Learning Technology
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2020


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