With the growth of technology-enhanced language learning comes increased use of online applications and interventions in language education. The articles in this dissertation consider the role of technology in online language courses taught at Brigham Young University. Three perspectives on the use of online speaking labs are considered. The first article considers the Conversation Café, an online speaking lab intervention, from an evaluative perspective. Usage, user perceptions regarding effectiveness, and financial viability of the café are evaluated. Findings reveal student usage is not as high as required in coursework, students have a more favorable perception of the intervention than faculty and teaching assistants, and that the café is not offered and staffed appropriately to meet financial viability thresholds set by stakeholders. The second article addresses the common perception that online courses lack elements of sociocultural theory. It reports on the approach the university took to the course development, sociocultural aspects of implemented interventions, and preliminary evaluative findings regarding the effectiveness of the interventions. The final article is a case study examining student experiences in online and face-to-face French speaking labs. This article considers student satisfaction with online and face-to-face labs as well as preference for one type or the other. Findings reveal student preference toward and higher satisfaction of the face-to-face. Negative student comments regarding the online setting in particular tended to focus on elements of convenience rather than aspects essential for learning. Implications for further research are discussed.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Instructional Psychology and Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





online, language learning, speaking labs, student experience, sociocultural theory



Included in

Education Commons