Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2589-2053
  • E-ISSN: 2589-207x
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In response to the growing global demand for teaching additional language(s) to very young children (ages 2–6), an increasing supply of digital technologies purports to assist pre-primary school children with their language learning. Focusing on TV/videos, digital picture books, and social robots, this paper examined the small body of empirical research on the effect of these digital technologies on very young second or foreign language learners and bolstered this research with similar studies conducted among very young children learning a first language. The paper identifies possibilities and limitations of using such technologies and documents how they can be used effectively with young language learners. Two key elements for effective use of digital technologies emerged from the examination of the relevant studies: (a) digital devices and applications must have developmentally appropriate content and functions; and (b) children need to have meaningful interaction with adults or digital agents while using digital technology. The paper concludes with two implications for future research: (a) the need to have critical discussions when designing digital technologies for and using digital technologies with young children; and (b) the need to pay greater attention to individual differences in children’s attitudes and preferences concerning different digital technologies.


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