Evolutionary Trajectories, Internet-mediated Expression, and Language Education


  • Steven L. Thorne The Pennsylvania State University
  • J. Scott Payne The Pennsylvania State University




Synchronous Computer-mediated Communication (SCMC), blogs, wikis, Podcasting, Device-agnostic CMC, Intelligent Computer-assisted Language Learning (ICALL)


This article describes the evolution of communication technologies, accompanying transformations in everyday communicative activity, and pedagogical possibilities these tools support in second and foreign language (L2) settings. We begin with an overview of synchronous computer-mediated communication (SCMC) and uses of the Internet to mediate intercultural communication for purposes of L2 learning. We then describe generational shifts in Internet technologies and their proliferation and uses, with the majority of our efforts focused on contemporary environments such as blogs, wikis, podcasting, device-agnostic forms of CMC, and advances in intelligent computer-assisted language learning (ICALL). Throughout, we engage in a discussion of praxeological fusions of various media technologies and the implications of this nexus of practice for the transformation of what it means to teach, learn, and communicate in L2 contexts.

Author Biographies

  • Steven L. Thorne, The Pennsylvania State University

    Steve Thorne is the Associate Director of the Center for Language Acquisition, Associate Director of the Center for Advanced Language Proficiency Education and Research (a National Foreign Language Resource Center), and Assistant Professor in Linguistics and Applied Language Studies at The Pennsylvania State University. His research addresses activity theory, additional language learning, and computer-mediated communication.

  • J. Scott Payne, The Pennsylvania State University

    J. Scott Payne (Ph.D. Washington State University) is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, Assistant Director for Technology and Research at the Center for Language Acquisition, and Co-Director of the Technology Project under the Center for Advanced Language Proficiency Education and Research (CALPER) at The Pennsylvania State University. His research and publications have focused on the intersection between technology and SLA theory and practice with particular attention to the role that individual differences in working memory capacity play in computer-mediated language learning. He is also actively engaged in the development of web applications to support psycholinguistic and corpus-based SLA research and CALL.


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How to Cite

Thorne, S., & Payne, J. (2013). Evolutionary Trajectories, Internet-mediated Expression, and Language Education. CALICO Journal, 22(3), 371-397. https://doi.org/10.1558/cj.v22i3.371-397