Language Learning & Technology
Vol. 1, No. 2, January 1998, pp. 1-2

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Following our inaugural special issue of last July, this now represents our first regular issue of Language Learning & Technology. It includes four articles of empirical research.

When computer-assisted language learning first emerged some 25 years ago, the natural inclination was to attempt to research the effects of using the computer vs. not using the computer. However, the introduction of new technologies generally affects the broader ecology of the classroom, thus complicating such direct "use vs. non-use" comparisons. Instead, researchers have more recently pursued approaches which investigate technology-enhanced learning in its own regard, by examining the language produced in computer-assisted learning activities; investigating learners' strategies or processes when new technologies for language learning; studying learners' attitudes about technology-enhanced learning; or comparing the effects of different ways of using computers.

The authors in this issue make use of all these approaches in their research. Noriko Nagata (Input vs. Output Practice in Educational Software for Second Language Acquisition) compares the learning outcomes when students use a computer program which only provides language input to another program which provides students with both input and opportunities for output. Nagata thus addresses an important issue in second language acquisition research: the role of production.

Lara L. Lomicka ("To Gloss or Not to Gloss": An Investigation of Reading Comprehension Online) looks at another important second language learning issue: the role of vocabulary glosses in reading comprehension. Using think-aloud protocols and tracking software, Lomicka compares learners' strategies and processes in conditions of full glossing, limited glossing, and no glossing.

Manuela González-Bueno (Effects of Electronic Mail on Spanish L2 Discourse) uses discourse analysis to examine the features of language learners' e-mail messages. She draws on prior research on the discourse features of L1 computer-mediated discourse.

Finally, Maritza Osuna and Carla Meskill (Using the World Wide Web to Integrate Spanish Language and Culture: A Pilot Study) use a survey to examine learners' attitudes toward using the World Wide Web for learning Spanish. Their article sheds some light on the potential of the Internet for enhancing the integration of language and culture.


In addition to our main articles, this issue also includes reviews of Technology-Enhanced Language Learning and Shockwave Player and VivoActive 2.0 as well as our On the Net column by Jean LeLoup and Robert Ponterio, and our Emerging Technologies column by Bob Godwin-Jones.

This issue concludes our first volume. With this issue, a few members of our original editorial board have stepped down. I would like to thank Roger Anderson, Jim Noblitt, Andrew Cohen, and Gail Robinson for their service, and I would also like to announce and welcome new board members Joy Kreeft Peyton, Mary Ann Lyman-Hager, Denise Murray, Rafael Salaberry, and Larry Selinker. I thank our founding web production editor, Claire Bradin, and welcome new web editor, Dennie Hoopingarner. I also would like to announce and welcome the support of a new co-sponsoring organization, Apprentissage des Langues et Systèmes (ALSIC), a French-language journal with whom Language Learning & Technology is cooperating.

I am especially happy to announce that Lucinda Hart-Gonzalez of University of Maryland University College will now be joining me as LLT co-editor. She has a wealth of research and editorial experience in foreign language learning and will certainly make an invaluable contribution to our journal.

Finally, I note with great sadness that Roy Bowers, a member of our original design team, passed away in September after a courageous battle with cancer. Bowers contributed greatly to the development of this journal as well as to many other efforts related to language learning and technology. Contributions are being accepted in a fund which has been established for Juniper, his only child. To contribute, send a check made out to Marion Bowers, with a note that it is for a fund for Roy's daughter, to Diana Stark; 3145 Eads; El Paso, Texas 79935; USA.



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