Navigation – Plan du site
Conférences invitées

Researching language learning in a digital age: how can we achieve Normalisation?

Stephen Bax

Entrées d'index

Keywords :

Haut de page

Texte intégral

1. Presentation

As we seek to learn and teach in this brave new digital world, how can we blend technology with human intervention in the most productive and painless way? This talk will contribute to the conference's wider theme by building on the framework of "Normalisation" which I proposed over a decade ago (Bax, 2003). I will argue that viewing technology through the lens of Normalisation can help us not only to frame our language pedagogy effectively, but also to research human/technological interactions with a sharper focus. The ultimate aim is to ensure that when a new technology is introduced into language education we get beyond the "wow" factor so as to achieve more effective learning. I will illustrate my argument with reference to recent innovations in teaching and research at the Open University, including the use of eye tracking technology to research reading, a new computer tool called Text for analysing lexis in texts, an innovative new App for learning Chinese characters, large-scale research into the role of Twitter in language education, new MOOCS, and the use of a Student Buddy scheme in online forums. Through discussion of these innovations, I hope to illustrate how best we can blend the human with the technological in areas of language learning and teaching in a principled way, as well as to point up some pitfalls and shortcomings. In summary, I aim in this talk to offer new insights into the role of technology in language learning, and also to contribute to the wider pedagogical debate concerning how best to blend the human and the digital in educational settings.

2. Recording

Haut de page

Table des illustrations

Fichier image/jpeg, 13k
Haut de page

Pour citer cet article


Stephen Bax, « Researching language learning in a digital age: how can we achieve Normalisation? », Alsic [En ligne], Vol. 20, n° 3 | 2017, mis en ligne le 20 décembre 2017, Consulté le 14 octobre 2019. URL :

Haut de page


Stephen Bax

Stephen Bax was Professor of Modern Languages and Linguistics at the Open University in the United Kingdom. His research included the use of computers in language learning (CALL), the use of computers in language testing, and areas of discourse including Computer Mediated Discourse Analysis.
He used eye tracking technology to research reading and reading assessment, and his article on eye tracking in the Language Testing journal won the international 2014 TESOL Distinguished Research Award. Professor Bax also researched the role of vocabulary in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). He developed a web tool ( to analyse lexis in English texts from a variety of dimensions.
Sadly, Stephen Bax was taken away after this conference. This special issue is dedicated to him.
Affiliation: Open University
Address: Open University, Walton Hall, Kents Hill, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, Royaume-Uni.

Haut de page

Droits d'auteur


Haut de page