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A meta-analysis of effectiveness studies on computer technology-supported language learning

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 March 2013

Maja Grgurović
Department of Linguistics, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1710 University Hall, 601 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL, 60607, USA (email:
Carol A. Chapelle
Department of English, Iowa State University, 339 Ross Hall, Ames, IA 50011, USA (email:
Mack C. Shelley
Departments of Statistics and Political Science, Iowa State University, 1413 Snedecor, 539 Ross Hall, Ames, IA 50011, USA (email:


With the aim of summarizing years of research comparing pedagogies for second/foreign language teaching supported with computer technology and pedagogy not-supported by computer technology, a meta-analysis was conducted of empirical research investigating language outcomes. Thirty-seven studies yielding 52 effect sizes were included, following a search of literature from 1970 to 2006 and screening of studies based on stated criteria. The differences in research designs required subdivision of studies, but overall results favored the technology-supported pedagogy, with a small, but positive and statistically significant effect size. Second/foreign language instruction supported by computer technology was found to be at least as effective as instruction without technology, and in studies using rigorous research designs the CALL groups outperformed the non-CALL groups. The analyses of instructional conditions, characteristics of participants, and conditions of the research design did not provide reliable results because of the small number of effect sizes representing each group. The meta-analysis results provide an empirically-based response to the questions of whether or not technology-supported pedagogies enhance language learning, and the process of conducting the meta-analysis pointed to areas in research methodology that would benefit from attention in future research.

Research Article
Copyright © European Association for Computer Assisted Language Learning 2013

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