Social and Institutional Factors Affecting Language Learning Activities


  • Megan Case Örebro University


adult learners, activity theory, personal learning environments, distance learning, qualitative, LCTLs, CALL


This article aims to contribute to an understanding of how social and institutional factors affect the language learning environments of university students studying less-commonly taught languages (Turner, 1958), at beginner level by distance online. The empirical material is drawn from longitudinal case studies of students who enrolled in beginner-level distance courses in LCTLs at a regional Swedish university in the early 2010s. The study supports previous research illustrating the importance of sociocultural factors in learning activities. Furthermore, the study adds to research showing that for LCTLs an online learning context provides affordances that simply may not exist in campus settings and makes the study of LCTLs accessible to people for whom it would otherwise not be, an important contribution to linguistic diversity. The novel finding of this study is the direct and clearly articulated effect of different policies and frameworks on individuals’ choices of how, when and where to study, which suggests a need to examine further the ways that government and supranational entities shape the decisions made by adult learners.



2023-03-23 — Updated on 2023-05-23


How to Cite

Case, M. (2023). Social and Institutional Factors Affecting Language Learning Activities. Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies, 17(1), 85–103. (Original work published March 23, 2023)