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2016 | 16 | 3 | 52-73

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The article revisits the question of the good language learner, with special regard to the contemporary digital learner of English as a foreign language. It focuses on the learner who can certainly be called successful based on the considerably high level of language proficiency s/he has reached (B2-C1). The question considered here – with reference to good learner studies of the 1970s – is to what extent such successful learners of English can actually be called “good language learners” as described in research to-date. In particular, it is interesting to investigate whether such learners effectively utilise the “plethora of creative routes for digital language learning” (Oxford and Lyn 2011: 157) available today. The answer to the questions above was sought in a two-partite study carried out in October-December 2014 among 106 first-year students of the English Studies programme at the Pedagogical University in Cracow, Poland. In the first part of the study all the participants filled in a survey (N=106) whose purpose was to discover typical online language learning routines of the respondents. Subsequently, 16 study participants, randomly sampled from the main pool, took part in semi-structured interviews. The interviews were aimed at examining the nature of the online routines reported in the survey and confronting them with selected characteristics of good language learners identified in the early studies (Rubin 1975; Stern 1975) as well as the more contemporary studies into good digital language learning reported by Oxford and Lin (2011). The results of both parts of the study give a number of insights into how the participants of the study augment their language education with the use of the new media as well as show areas in which they still need the assistance of the (digital) teacher. As a result, it is argued here that while the respondents are good digital language learners from whom we may learn, there are still important things to be taught to them, with particular regard to developing digital learner autonomy, closely connected to a whole range of digital language learning strategies (Oxford and Lin 2011) and multiliteracies (Pegrum 2009).








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  • Pedagogical University


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