Types, purposes, and effectiveness of state-of-the-art technologies for second and foreign language learning

Ruofei ZHANG, Di ZOU*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsReview articleOther Review

124 Citations (Scopus)


Digital technologies have been widely used to enhance language learning, the effectiveness of which has been acknowledged in the literature. With the rapid development of digital devices and technologies, increasing technologies have been used in the most recent several years, leading to more diversified approaches to language education. This exceptional advance over the past few years calls for a summary of state-of-the-art technologies that have been used to enhance language learning and promote effective learning. The present study was conducted to fill this gap by reviewing all the relevant publications in 10 widely recognised journals in the field of technology-enhanced language learning. An analysis of 57 articles indicated five major types of technology for second and foreign language learning (i.e. technologies for mobile learning, multimedia learning and socialisation, speech-to-text and text-to-speech recognition, and digital-game-based learning). The results also showed four primary purposes and benefits of the state-of-the-art technologies: promoting practices, delivering instructional content, facilitating interactions, and restructuring teaching approaches. Moreover, these state-of-the-art technologies have been integrated into various aspects of language teaching and learning, the overall impact of which has been positive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)696-742
Number of pages47
JournalComputer Assisted Language Learning
Issue number4
Early online date6 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This research received grants from the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (EDB(LE)/P&R/EL/175/2), the Education Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and the Internal Research Grant (RG93/2018-2019R) and the Internal Research Fund (RG 1/2019-2020R), The Education University of Hong Kong.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Computer-assisted language learning
  • mobile learning
  • mobile-assisted language learning
  • multimedia learning
  • technology-enhanced language learning


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