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The range of technological applications in different educational contexts makes it necessary for continued inquiry into online language learning (OLL), especially in relation to its impact on different learner populations whose perception and acceptance of OLL can vary across settings. This pilot study involved 66 Chinese students in a Hong Kong university and examined their OLL experience in online reading and listening activities. Results of the study suggest the easy availability of internet resources can greatly enhance students’ OLL experience, while raising four challenges in the areas of online materials development, student motivation, pedagogy-technology interface, and intercultural communicative competence. Possible ways of tackling such challenges are outlined. The article concludes with a view that successful OLL needs to be predicated on a tripartite framework of hardware, software and humanware.
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