Beyond the language classroom: A case of Japanese EFL students’ engagement with ICT

Somayeh Fathali, Seyyedeh Susan Marand, Takeshi Okada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the intentional formal learning in the classrooms, research shows that much of language learning happens in the absence of conventional classrooms with the learners’ independent use of technologies. However, since how students use technologies beyond the classroom is neither easily observable nor assessable, this issue has received little attention. Consequently, this case study tried to gain a holistic understanding of how Japanese undergraduate EFL students engage with ICT beyond the classroom in their everyday life in the first language (i.e. Japanese), in the target language (i.e. English), and for learning the target language. The data was collected through an online questionnaire that gained information about the students’ use of ICT in everyday life in Japanese and English, their use of discipline-specific technology for language learning, their attitudes toward the use of technology, their challenges with technology, and their future needs. Findings indicated that the students tend to use emerging communication technologies frequently in everyday life in Japanese and that this usage mainly includes peer-to-peer technologies rather than collaborative ones. Moreover, very little use of ICT in the target language is shown. In terms of discipline-specific technologies, some barriers are found that prevent students from using them. The students’ main challenge with the use of technology for language learning is the lack of knowledge about the available technology, and they emphasized their need for expert support. The detailed patterns of the students’ use of ICT in L1 and L2 can be a guideline for the proper implementation of ICT into L2 education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-175
Number of pages26
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Digital technology
  • Discipline-specific technology
  • Informal learning
  • Language learning
  • Mobile learning


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