As a new mode of language learning, some foreign language learning websites with social networking features appear as collaborative platforms in which users can learn languages by communicating directly with other members of the online community. In Stevenson and Liu’s (2010) article, Palabea (the website has been closed), Babbel and Live Mocha, three language learning websites, are selected and compared to see to what extent could they satisfy users’ need of language learning and social interaction.

First of all, Stevenson and Liu’s (2010) conducted a survey among current users of Babbel. Then, they invited five students as potential users to test the usability of the three language learning websites. The participants were asked to complete some tasks that were related to the technical, pedagogical and social functions of the websites.

The study found that there should be some high quality learning materials in a language learning website since users need to improve their reading and writing skills before they have social interaction with other speakers. Also, language learning websites should have a clear layout and instructions so users can find what they need easily. Moreover, the websites need to pay attention to the regulation of the social function, making sure that the social networks are used for educational purposes. Next, we want to elaborate on the features of language learning websites by taking busuu as an example.

Features of Foreign Language Learning Websites in General  

Technical usability:

The technical support offered by a website to help users solve their problems quickly, such as the layout of the website and the instructions provided

Pedagogical usability:

The materials that users can learn and use, including electronic dictionaries, videos and online lessons.

Social interaction:

Social networks that enable users to find and interact directly with suitable partners to learn languages from the user pool easily.

(Summarized by the Authors based on Stevenson and Liu, 2010)

The Ways Users Learn Through Foreign Language Learning Websites

We will use the busuu language learning website as an example.

  • When new users first log into the website, the level of language they want to learn could be quickly determined by a test.
  • Listen to the pronunciation of new words and learn.
  • Choose the right answer according to the pronunciation of new words.
  • A test will be given to checkusers’ learning outcomes about specific.
  • Users could practice the expression they just learned by writing or speaking and share into the community section for feedback. Similarly, learners could teach their native languages to other users by giving feedback.

This website is relatively user-friendly as there is a vocabulary trainer in the website. The trainer serves as a helper to consolidate what users have learned in the lessons. Most importantly, the trainer knows exactly which vocabulary users need to review according to the record of their actual learning situation.

In this website, users are allowed to specify the kind of learners they want to instruct through a filter. As long as users select ‘advanced’ for their second language in the personal settings, they can give feedback on other users’ exercises. The notification section on the upper-right corner would quickly remind learners of the changes made by others and the corrections that they made on others’ work. Users could also add native speakers of the languages they are learning and make conversations with them in the interaction section to have more practice.

Figure 1. Screenshot from busuu

This image is captured from the personal setting of the website, which is to test the personal language proficiency by pressing the button named “Start the test”.

Figure 2. Screenshot from busuu

This image is to show that users can specify the type of learners they want to instruct through a filter.

Figure 3. Screenshot from busuu

This image is to show how the users can give feedback to others’ exercises.

Figure 4. Screenshot from busuu

This image can be found from the review session where users can find the words they need to consolidate after the lesson.

Reflection on language learning websites

From users:

In our opinion, users can study through language learning websites selectively, as they can choose the websites that are most suitable for themselves. Self-disciplined users are more suitable for autonomous learning in virtue of technical usability in language learning websites, while extraverted users can learn foreign language interactively with social networking elements. Besides, learners with various levels of linguistic competence can choose the area which they would like to improve on, such as grammar, vocabulary, speaking skill, with different website functions.

From websites:

From Stevenson and Liu’s observation, users are intrigued about the opportunities that language learning websites can offer, but they expect more improvement along with further using of language learning websites. Therefore, websites should pay more attention to the proportion of traditional learning content and social networking elements. Some users expect to acquire more knowledge from static lesson content, including videos, lessons, articles, instead of practicing with native speakers. While others complain that too many social elements in language learning websites easily remind users of social networking sites, but learning websites should be built for learning, not for establishing social relationships. As for the improvement, apart from one-to-one collaborative learning, we think websites can also provide chat rooms or study groups to gather multiple users, along with supervision to keep them for educational purposes.


  1. Do you think it is possible to learn a language with only language learning websites?
  2. Which functions of language learning websites do you value most, pedagogical, technical, social networking? And why?
  3. What functions or improvements do you expect to have for language learning websites in the future?


51 thoughts on “Language learning through interactive websites

  1. In terms of the first question, my answer would be No. Although I do admit that, to some extents, using a language learning website to learn a foreign language might be workable, especially for learners who are at the beginner’s level. Because their focus might be the basic language knowledge and grammatical rules, which they can learn through the drills provided by the website. But when it comes to students who want to improve their communication skills, they might find that the practices do no help much. I know that most language learning websites now offer students opportunities to interact with foreigners online. But in fact, unless you pay for the website, it is hard for you to find a partner with whom can regularly interact, neither a systematical learning plan. And it requires students to be self-disciplined and also a continuous learning process, for language acquisition cannot be achieved within a short period of time.

    • Hi, Celia! Thanks a lot for your own sharing. Yes, I agree with your point that language learning maybe more feasible for beginner-level learners. You say about the interaction with native speakers through payment on the website. I tried it before and I found that the communication with the native speaker online was relatively ineffective due to the poor signal or the unstructured lesson given by native speaker. As a result, I could not feel fruitful about the online learning.

  2. Really thanks for your group’s post! It is easy to understand and using BUSUU as an example is a good choice!

    I think it is quite impossible to learn a language with only language learning websites. To a large extent, language learning websites can really help us to learn well in a step-by-step way with our own learning pace. I quite enjoy this way of learning as it gives me a high degree of learner’s autonomy. However, some of the functions of learning language in the real world cannot be fully served by learning in those websites, for example, learning how to write formal writing at school, doing oral presentation in front of audience, taking part in English drama, doing face-to-face interaction with peers and so on.

    Among pedagogical, technical, social networking functions of language learning websites, I value social networking functions most. For shy students like me, it is quite difficult for us to build pleasant and relaxing relationship with others using English. We always feel worried to make mistakes and be laughed at by our interlocutors. So, communicating to others in English a precious chance for us to build up our confidence of writing or speaking in English. Also, it can enhance our exposure to authentic English usage outside the classroom.

    I expect that those language learning websites can serve some functions of Facebook in the future. As some classmates said in the lecture, no one would chat with them after they find some friends to talk with. I think those websites can do the following steps to foster the interactions among the users:
    1. allow users to build a profile to introduce themselves to others
    2. allow users to choose their friends freely
    3. users can make some posts on post board. If someone feels interested in one particular post / topic, he / she can leave a comment publicly for further discussion or send a private message to the post owner to build a further interaction between them.

    • Hi, Ivory. Thank you for your careful and detailed comment!
      I do appreciate your own thought about more emphasis on social networking within language learning websites. But sometimes I think that if a language learning website is designed a little bit like facebook, learners maybe easily distracted from language learning. My ideal one is that the website could incorporate the interaction part to make learners learn from each other about language learning or other within a group other than a personal chatting room.

  3. Thanks for your sharing!
    I think it will be very hard to learn a language only through language learning websites. As mentioned in your blog, combined with my own experience, I agree that the social features in the language learning websites might be valued too much. It might because the developer wanted to differentiate themselves from the traditional language learning systems such as classroom learning and other training programs by thinking highly on communicating with others. But I personally think that this feature should function as the outcome of learning rather than the only method of learning.

    Among the three features, I value the technological feature most. I think that the new way of learning language should not forget about the traditional learning theories but to combine them with the new technology so as to generate a more flexible and personalized learning system.

    • Hi, Nicole! Thanks for your creative sharing. I think you are right. Social features within the language learning websites is a brand-new trend. You think the combination between new technology and traditional learning theories would satisfy learners most. Could you please elaborate more about this new system or list an example? Thanks!

  4. Thank you for your posting~~Personally speaking, I value technical function most. It is hard for us to form a tandem pair in reality but it become feasible in the virtual learning community connecting users all over the world, which I think it is cool~! In tandem learning, the two learners share the principle of reciprocity, which means they might probably achieve the win-win outcome. In this way, they could not only improve their proficiency of target language but also improve their proficiency of the Lingua Franca (usually it is English) that is required when they are at the beginning level of their target language.

    • Hi, Champion. Thanks for your comment! I also think one of the greatest things within the language learning website is its technical usability. The website could function as an international platform in which they use for educational purposes. Soon afterwards I do think tandem learning will be more common and feasible.

  5. Among the three functions, I think I value social function most in the language learning websites. For one thing, it provides a platform for language learners who are shy and afraid of humiliation. In the virtual learning websites, taking BUSUU for example, learners interact with strangers that they don’t know each other in the real world, which reduces learners’ anxiety. For another, BUSUU matches users basing on their L1 and L2 they are learning, which means that learners are using their L2 to socialize with the native speakers and they may learn how to express themselves in a more native way.

    • Thanks for your own sharing, Charlene.

      Yes. The social interaction within language learning websites actually is prominent. And I think the most useful language learning website should balance different elements to play a significant part in learning language for learners.

  6. Thank you for your sharing post.
    Actually I do not think learning through only language learning websites is really an effective way. Most language learning websites provide only basic language knowledge and drill practices. I think learning on the websites also requires learners’ a tremendous amout of self-discipline and persistence because there is no real teacher to push and test the learners.
    As for the second question, I value pedagogical usability most as I can check the new words online whenever necessary and there are some videos and lessons provided on the internet that can facilitate the learners’ comprehension and add some fun for learners during learning process.
    I think language learning websites can develop the communication system between the native speaker of the target language and the learners. Some websites only allow learners to add friends of similar learning level, which can hardly get improvement actually. Because I believe the way to learn a new language better is to totally involve in that language environment.

    • Thanks for your comment.

      I agree that using language learning website needs learners’ self-discipline and persistence. And it is also a convenient way for self-discipline learners to start autonomous study and self-accessment.

      And for the communication system, nowadays language learning websites not only provide friend resources with similar language level, but expert native speakers for speaking practice as well. That may need users to pay the calls by minutes with native speakers, but it do create opportunities for learners to expose themselves in the foreign language environment.

    • I totally agree that language learning websites is convenient for those learners of great automaticity. And thank you for your information about the advancement of the language learning websites nowadays, I think I should learn more updated condition of the websites!

  7. Thanks a lot for your sharing~

    As for the first question, I don’t think we can learn a language only through the language learning website. Take Busuu as an example, I find that the tests and the conversations given are quite fundamental that suit the needs of the beginners or the language learners for specific purposes, for example, traveling. However, those kinds of conversations and dialogues are not that flexible to use into the real conversation, it is more like simulation and memorization rather than learning. And I also find that there’s no basic language rules like phonetic symbol or pronunciation rules taught through Busuu. From my point of view, I consider that language learner not only can communicate with people but also need to handle some basic language skills and rules in the target language if they truly want to acquire a language.

    • Thanks for commenting.

      I think provides some basic vocabulary and daily dialogues for beginners. And the grammatical part are embedded in the lesson and practice, which is less complex for learners to learn and accept.

  8. Thanks for your inspiring post. I thinks using websites is indeed an effective way of learning a language, especially for beginners, cause learning becomes feasible and easy as long as you have internet and the willingness to learn. However, this way still have small inevitable deficiency. For example, learners can’t know whether their pronunciation is correct and lack of enough opportunities to communicate. So, if available, I prefer to have face-to-face communication and learning besides self-learning online.

    For me, I think the pedagogical function is most significant as the initial purpose of us is to learn. But technical and social networking functions would influence me on how long I keep using this website. If the website is not that workable technically or create a sense that I’m learning alone, I would turn to seek for more practical ones.

    And as the future expectation, I suggest website designers attach higher attention to the interactive function. There used to be an on-line chat room where learners will be allocated with interlocutors from different countries randomly, which is quite focusing on the authentic use of languages and real-time interaction with other people who are learning or using this language. But unfortunately I find little pedagogical function during the process. So it would be a real tricky but urgent issue to embed interactive function to language learning for online learners.

    • Thanks for your suggestions. I once received some comments and corrections of my pronunciation and written practice, which helps me to notice the mistakes I made. But still, in-depth linguistic rules are lack because other users only focus on the form instead of the underlying rules. As for the interaction section, I also find it hard to balance the social and pedagogical elements. Some users may hold other purposes rather than educational purposes to join learning websites.

  9. Thanks for your sharing. I think it is clear for me to understand it.😘

    For me, I do not think that learning a language with only language learning websites is possible, although I do value its strength. First, learning through the website has an obvious obstacle which is the internet. I think most of us do meet a situation that there is no internet or its speed is really slow. Besides, the professional degree and accuracy of the content on the website is not 100 percent, so we still need some other sources to either support or against it.

    However, although learning language on websites has some kind of limitations, I do think that it is a good way for language learning. Because it firstly, contains a lot of advanced teaching methodologies and technical activities which gives me some inspirations of how to improve my own teaching or offers some new materials that can be used in my class.

    Secondly, I think language-learning websites are more multimedia which is actually a very good way of strengthening the memory of the words or phrases or sentences in our minds, as it relates to the perceptual symbol theory. The more vivid the image in your brain, the more depth the memory in your mind stores.

    Therefore, as for myself, I am using websites to learning languages and in the future, I believe that I will use it, too.😊✌🏻

    • Hi Jean – thanks for this interesting comment. One of the criticisms of social networking sites for language learning is that they use outdated drill and kill behaviourist methodologies and so can easily get boring. I’m not sure how advanced they really are. Would you agree? Or is there a particular website you were thinking of that is actually quite advanced?

    • Hello, Jean, I am so interested in your using websites to learn languages as you said you will use in the future as well~ Can you share your effective language learning website? Thank you!

  10. Thanks so much for your introduction of learning a language through interactive websites. I have learnt a lot from it.

    I noticed that some questions for the readers in your blog. I would like to address the first question first. In the context of HK, no one has ever learned any language by one single tool partly because of the compulsory education policy implemented by the government. Another important reason is language learning websites can be only regarded as a complementary or self-learning tool. Everyone, particularly younger ones, needs instructions and/or guidelines to ensure a better understanding of a language and make progress step by step. The websites highlighted in this post may serve as a supplementary practice for language learners.

    As for the second question, personally, as being an introvert, I like the social networking function the most. In a formal setting, a teacher has to deal with a whole class; thus, each student in the class barely has many opportunities to have one-on-one interactions with the teacher. Whenever a student speaks, the rest of the class are the audience. It may increase stress and anxiety of introverts, which prevents them from further enhancement of the language, especially in speaking. But the great function of social networking offered by the websites somehow solves the problem. For example, one of my friends, who is introverted, was afraid of speaking in front of the class; therefore, she seldom answered to her teachers’ questions in a normal setting. To improve her speaking proficiency, she chose the social networking function and practised oral with a native English speaker. Surprisingly, in a very short period, she was able to speak very fluently. Drawn on her experience, one-on-one interactions help reduce the stress of a language learner, and the willingness to talk to the native speaker increases.

    For the last question, during the process of using busuu in the last lecture, I noticed a frustrating problem. The function of adding friends is totally unexpected since it is not based on our own wills but suggestions made by the website.

    • Wow, thank you for sharing supporting examples, Fannie. Language learning websites somewhat offer more practice opportunities for introverted learners, not only a platform to speak up their ideas, but also find learning partners to make mutual progress. But I doubt that whether learners can meet the right one through the Internet who truly wants to practice language with pure educational purpose.

  11. Thanks for your posting and comprehensive elaboration!
    I think it is possible for an independent learner to learn a language through using a combination of language learning websites.

    Basically, in order to learn a language, learns need to learn:
    a) linguistic knowledge: phonology, lexicon, syntax, grammar and writing system
    b) listening, speaking, reading and writing skills
    c) communicative competence
    and they should follow the approaches of cognitive thinking, practices&drills and interaction.

    Practice&drills activities are supported by APPs like Shanbei vocabulary, busuu, voice dubbing, etc.
    Cognitive learning can be achieved through some reading websites. for example, newspaper/novel reading app (teach reader how to appreciate the articles).
    Opportunities of interaction in the target language are offered by websites with social networking elements such as Tandem or Skype.

    Sounds quite idealistic but nothing is impossible as long as the learner has strong self-motivation to insist ,know how to make use of these sources scientifically, and have the ability to reflect on his learning progress.

    • Thanks for your comment! I think that is a bold but reasonable assumption on condition that the learners are “perfect”. As what you have mentioned, learning language only with websites acquires high demands for individuals’ competence. So “perfect” learners can achieve learning goal by that way while average learners may still need a combination between in-class instruction and extracurricular activities.

  12. Thanks for your sharing!

    I think it is not possible to learn a language with language learning websites only. Take BUSUU as an example, all the materials are already posted on the internet. Learners can only follow the assigned topics in their learning. It is
    not as authentic as the real classroom.

    In the classroom setting, teachers can manage and amend the teaching materials from time to time according to the students’ learning progress and their interest. When students are not willing to participate in the learning activity, teachers are able to make some changes so that students will not lose their interest in learning.

    I agree that using websites to learn a language is useful, but the repetitive pattern of learning activity may decrease learners’ motivation in learning a new language.

    • Well, thanks for your comment! For my part, learning language only with language websites will be so difficult but there may still be a slim chance for some excellent autonomous learners to achieve the goal, of course, not for everyone. I agree with you about teachers’ class management. It is flexible for teachers to take controld of the whole class when students are in the class. And teachers can give feedback to students and in turn students’ performance can alarm teachers where needs to be revised.

  13. I think it’s not feasible to learn a language only through language learning websites. A learning website often has its large audience which means its contents are general like teaching some common-used words/sentences and some learning skills. However, everyone’s learning situation is different, it is very hard to find a learning website which is suitable for one person completely. Therefore, I think these websites can only be considered as a supplementary tool for learning.

    • Thanks for your commenting! As for beginners, language websites may be good for them to acquire basic knowledge while advanced learners may need more than that. What has been posted on common language websites is not enough for advanced learners and they may need to make their own learning plan.

  14. Thanks for your group’s sharing!

    I think it will be a nice try to see whether we can learn a language only depend on those language learning websites or not. For those language websites, they provide us systematic and advanced learning plans and also have some professional teachers. Learning through these websites seems like playing a invented game, once you pass a level, you will gain excitement and courage to go through the next level. I think it is better for beginners to easily get interest in learning a new language.

    • Thanks for your sharing! Well, I think the most important point of learning should be fun. Only students are interested in one class will knowledge be acquired more effectively. So most of language websites will have an appealing look and abundant learning activities for learners to choose.

  15. For the first question, of course not! It is common sense that you cannot learn anything only by one method Right?
    And for the second question. Social networking is the one I value most because that is the reason why you turn to internet. We have better choices for the pedagogical like teachers or books. The website allows students have access to more authentic language materials but a good language website should balance these three aspects.
    For the last question, I hope future language learning website can match people who have relatively equivalent language proficiency together based on the information that users provided. It would be more efficient for real language learning.

    • Thanks for your commenting! As for the first one, I feel it possible for some “perfect” learners to achieve that goal, hh. Then, still, even if some language websites will offer tests for learners to get aware of their level of English, those websites can not provide best and most suitable ways for learners. That;s why they need more improvement.

  16. Thank you for your great sharing! I am not sure whether language learning websites will enable users to master a foreign language in the future, but I believe it is not quite possible for language learners to completely depend on them now. Take “busuu” as an example and here are several problems that may impede learners’ progress:

    a) Easy to acquire knowledge but hard to practice. Usually, people just interact with their computers and wait for others’ feedback; however, they are not provided with enough chances to communicate with others in the target language regularly and frequently.

    b) Easy to start but hard to insist. People normally learn on these platforms due to their interest or curiosity in a particular foreign language. They are not supervised by a teacher or even they do not need to hand in assignments. Plenty of them may give up learning after a period of time because they are not motivated continuously.

    c) Easy to learn but hard to test. People do need to pass several language tests if they learn through these websites. However, whether the tests comprehensively show their language competency remains to be discussed.

    • Hi, Amanda! Thanks for your comments!

      Personally, I agree with you that it may be unlikely to depend on online websites only to learn foreign languages at this moment. But I am thinking that it could be a new mode of teaching and learning. For example, if a language website can produce enough high quality content and update those materials on a regular basis, and at the same time, there is a teacher who can supervise the students or a particular community which students can join, will it be more feasible as a online language learning method?

  17. The post of your group is instructive!

    For the first question, I think that depends on the level of students. For beginners,especially for children, teachers are crucial, and they teach basic knowledge and offer systemetic methodology, and repetitive drilling is beneficial for students. Since learning websites are becoming more and more developed, they could be used in wider range. But the role of teachers is still important.

    Personally, I prefer the function of social networking, for it explains the attractiveness of online learning method. From the perspective of students, this function is of great importance, because they could communicate and interact with each other, during which they learn the language continuously and gain more knowledge of genre.

    In the future, it is possible to employ artificial intelligence to design personal learning plans and evaluate learning outcomes for every students.

    • Hi, Evelyn. It is a greeting from Hubei Province.

      For the first question, I admit that teachers play a very important role in language teaching and the websites can be a supplement of practice as they may receive some feedback from native speakers, which may be helpful to form right ways to pronounce or use a word at the beginning.

      As for the application of AI, it is a very interesting point! But I wonder if they can make comments about the content or logic or only the grammatical features.

  18. Thank you so much for your post! The way I see it, learning a foreign language simply through language learning websites is a bit of impractical since language learning really requires peer-to-peer interaction and teachers’ guidance in the physical environment. However, it can act as a perfect complement to formal tuition due to its convenience and multi-functions.

    • Thanks for your comments!!!

      I agree with you that those language websites can serve as a supplement of formal schooling. Actually, the function of those websites can be various and I think it may be better to choose a suitable website based on the learning objectives, learning stages as well as the individual differences of learners. Also, we can use different websites because they may have different merits and shortcomings.

  19. Thank you for this reader-friendly post!

    I think it is absolutely possible to learn a language with only language learning websites as long as the language learning is processed systematically and comprehensively. That is what these websites are designed for, right?

    Of course several factors must be taken into consideration: a) The website must be user-friendly. b) The language courses need to be well-designed for learners of all levels and train learners in an encouraging way. c) The learner autonomy and persistence is very important.

    As for the language learning website in the future, I hope that the websites offer more explanation about grammar. When I tried to learn French in class last Thursday, the conjugation suddenly became very difficult and I don’t know why and how they are used in that way. So if more explanation in grammar is provided, I guess I can learn better.

    • Hi, Ivy. It’s nice to hear from you.

      Your comments reminded me of the moment when I was confused about how to give feedback to people who were not English speakers or Chinese speakers because I could not understand what the learners were saying if they. And it seems that I can not select the target partners with a filter. Therefore, I believe that clear instruction is also necessary. As you said, more linguistic knowledge should be provided in interesting way to attract the attention of learners. It seems that there are still many things for those websites to consider.
      Also, I think it is also necessary for us to teach students how to use those websites as a new way to learn language.

  20. Thanks for your sharing! ^▽^

    I think it’s impossible to learn a language only with the help of language learning websites.

    First of all, because of the limited language environment, a systematic and formal study is very needed for learning a second/foreign language, during which necessary vocabulary and grammatical rules can be learned. Second, the inputs and feedback provided by the websites are limited and less targeted in some cases.

    But language learning websites do help us a lot in language learning as they provide a variety of opportunities of using a language as well as authentic materials. In addition, the new forms in the websites that are different from traditional learning do arouse people’s interests in language learning to a certain degree.

    • Hi, Joyce. Thanks for your comments.

      I do agree that students may learn the language patterns sequently and systematically in schooling and that it is workable to use language websites as supplement of the tutoring. I guess it can be an after-class activity to let students use what they have learned in school. Also, I believe that the environment in which students learn languages is crucial. Language websites with a lot of native speakers of the target language may be helpful to some extent. Thank you.

  21. Thanks for sharing.
    As for the first question, I think it’s impossible. These websites can help the beginners to quickly get some basic knowledge and skills. But when the learners improve a lot, the websites cannot meet their needs. Also, though websites can catch up with new trends and add latest news, it is not human, it has limits.
    When I using these websites, I value the pedagogical, which I regard the most helpful and is exactly what I need. Since I mainly use websites to enlarge my vocabulary and improve my ways of impression. So, the materials do weigh a lot. With high-quality learning materials, I can gain a lot.
    From my point of view, these websites’ functions are limited. Like Busuu, it has practices, while the format is not that useful especially for learners with mediate and high levels. Because it just leaves some blanks, and give choices, sometimes learners can just guess or use exclusive method to get the right answer. I hope that things like this can be better designed.

  22. Thanks for your sharing about the language learning through interactive websites.
    This exciting way of learning language offers leaners more choices according to their own interests or habits of learning. But I don’t think it is possible for learners to learn a language only by this kind of websites, especially for the zero basic learners. Of course, the website is designed for different levels of learners who intend to use some specialized functions such as the practice for the lexicons, speech or writing according to their own purposes. But language acquisition is based on the learners’ perception on their own minds. This kind of websites usually pay close heed to the format of practice instead of inspiring and interpreting the language knowledge to the learners. That’s the reason I think the interactive websites for language learning are more possible as a good supplement for learners’ practicing.
    For the websites, if they hope to provide the users more satisfactory experience, it is better to provide more authentic teaching and learning context on the cyberspace. But this might also mean an increasing cost for the website construction.

  23. Thanks everyone for the interesting comments. Perhaps the question “Do you think it is possible to learn a language with only language learning websites?” is a little bit unfair to these language learning websites. I guess we don’t need to assume that each resource we encounter is intended to be the only resource that learners use as they acquire communicative competence? How might teachers and learners use these websites as part of their language learning programme?

  24. Thank you for sharing! I think it is possible but difficult to learn language only through language learning website. Learners need to be very self-disciplined to persist on learning online and they need to find a learning website that fits them since different website may have various affordances. Since I usually take language learning websites as a complemental way to learn language, I may value the social networking most because I would like to gain more authentic interactions with native speakers through the websites as there are not many chances I can interact with native speakers. It would be better if the websites can provide timely feedback to the learners in terms.

  25. For the first question, I believe that it is possible to learn a language only by webistes as long as the websites are smart enough. Language learning websites can take the place of tutors. However, it still requires a lot of input and practices of the learner.

    For question two, I personally value its pedagogical function. By using it as a pedagogical tool, learners can learn a language without restraints. ( eg, they can learn it at anytime/at any place)

    In the future, I hope there will be more websites that enabling language learners to teach each other, and I also hope that there will be a smart monitor to monitor the mutual teaching processs so that the quality of each learner’s teaching can be ensured.

  26. Thanks a lot for your wonderful post, the video and picture make it very reader-friendly and interesting. My answer to the first question my answer is that I do not think you can master a language just by using a website. If it is true we would be out of a job TVT. Just kidding, the real reason is that there is a limitation to one person’s ability to absorb new language without proper instruction. When at the beginning level it is OK to use the websites as instructions. But with the learners getting more advance they need someone to tell them how to interpret the difficult grammar rules and sentences structures.
    For the second question, I value the usefulness of the materials most. After all the materials are the source where we absorb the knowledge from. Technology and social functions are like bonus parts, of course, I would truly appreciate if these part are very helpful.
    I would truly appreciate if these websites can use more authentic material which relates to real life situation more. Explanations of words and example sentences cite from the dictionary are accurate. However, the explanation is quite difficult and lengthy. The example sentences are also not related to our life and difficult to comprehend. It would be good if websites can develop simpler meanings based on dictionaries.

  27. Thank you for your wonderful sharing! Now I’d like to discuss the first question with you guys.

    I think language learning websites would be a great help to our language learning, but it couldn’t provide all the sources of language learning.

    Learning a language covers four basic skills, which are listening, speaking, reading and writing. Through language learning websites, we can improve our language skills with different website functions,including speaking, vocabulary and so on. Here problem arises. This self study mode is only applied to learners who have a instinctive motivation to study and improve their skills. Without supervision, learners without self control wouldn’t devote too much time in their studies. These kind of learners do need teachers’ input and supervision in the classroom, otherwise their language ability would become worse and worse.

    As a result, language learning websites can’t be used as the only learning approach, especially for those who don’t have instinctive motivation.

  28. As for the first question, personally, I cannot say that one can learn a foreign language with only language learning websites. Although there are well-designed websites which can facilitate language learning, learners still need instructions provided by teachers so that they can make progress step by step. I also think face-to-face communication is essential in language learning.

  29. Thank you for your amazing post, I enjoyed reading it so much. I think language learning websites should be helpful for the beginners however if you would like to achieve higher level of the target language, you should go beyond those websites. Language learning websites are system based therefore it may teach you some phrases and words but it may not be a big help for you to communicate with the native speakers, leave alone having meaningful conversations with them.

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