Volume 17, Issue 1  April 2021, pp. 1–22          Download PDF

Regular Articles
Enrolled or engaged? Students’ perceptions of engagement and oral interaction in a blended learning language course

Kirsi Korkealehto https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8596-384X1, Minna Lakkala https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8289-42922, Auli Toom https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3261-33763

1 Häme University of Applied Sciences & University of Helsinki, FINLAND kirsi.korkealehto@hamk.fi
2 University of Helsinki, FINLAND minna.lakkala@helsinki.fi
3 University of Helsinki, FINLAND auli.toom@helsinki.fi

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29140/jaltcall.v17n1.268


Student engagement is essential in online language courses where the risk to suspend the studies is higher than in face-to-face teaching.  Furthermore, oral language rehearsal is challenging in such a course, therefore providing sufficiently assignments to rehearse oral interaction is central. This study investigates how student engagement and oral language skills rehearsal are perceived in a blended learning language course. The course design was based on multimodality and the applied theoretical frameworks were ecological language learning and the notion of engagement. The study was conducted, and the data were collected in a 5-credit course for 1-year business administration students (n=22). The qualitative data include students’ learning diaries and open-ended questions of a post-course online questionnaire; the data were analysed according to the qualitative content analysis method. The findings suggest that meaningful course design with authentic assignments and course material enhanced students’ academic engagement; students’ own activity was perceived to foster academic engagement equally. Social engagement was reinforced mainly by successful collaboration, but students’ own actions had a great impact as well. In terms of oral interaction, collaborative, meaningful assignments and student’s own investment in practicing had a positive impact on students’ oral interaction. This study contributes to earlier research since it provides an insight into student academic and social engagement in a blended language learning context and the findings can guide educators to design more engaging language learning courses in higher education.


© Kirsi Korkealehto, Minna Lakkala, Auli Toom

CC  4.0
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Suggested citation

Korkealehto, K., Lakkala, M., & Toom, A. (2021). Enrolled or engaged? Students’ perceptions of engagement and oral interaction in a blended learning language course. The JALT CALL Journal, 17(1), 1–22. https://doi.org/10.29140/jaltcall.v17n1.268

Related Articles:

Officer reports
The JALT CALL Journal Published: 27 April, 2021, Volume 17(1), 72–73. Download PDF

Negotiating intercultural spaces and teacher identity in an internationalised school in Shanghai
Adam Poole
Intercultural Communication Education Published: 23 August, 2019, Volume 2(2), 59–70. Download PDF

Designing a course in intercultural education
Adrian Holliday
Intercultural Communication Education Published: 11 August, 2018, Volume 1(1), 4–11. Download PDF

(Re)imagining a course in language and intercultural communication for the 21st century
Adriana Raquel Diaz, Paul J. Moore
Intercultural Communication Education Published: 29 December, 2018, Volume 1(3), 83–99. Download PDF

Reframing and hospicing mobility in higher education: Challenges and possibilities
Adriana Raquel Diaz, Marisa Cordella, Samantha Dispray, Barbara E. Hanna, Anna Mikhaylova
Intercultural Communication Education Published: 19 April, 2021, Volume 4(1), 106–121. Download PDF

Strategy use, self-efficacy beliefs, and self-regulatedness in adult foreign language learning
Akihiro Saito
Australian Journal of Applied Linguistics Published: 26 August, 2020, Volume 3(2), 152–167. Download PDF

Engagement with technology: Gaming, immersion and sub-optimal experiences
Alastair Henry, Cecilia Thorsen
Technology in Language Teaching & Learning Published: 21 December, 2019, Volume 1(2), 52–67. Download PDF

In pursuit of intercultural competence: Exploring self-awareness of EFL pupils in a lower-secondary school in Norway
Anastasia Khanukaeva
Intercultural Communication Education Published: 23 December, 2020, Volume 3(3), 118–140. Download PDF

Language, diversity and culturally responsive education
Ann E. Lopez
Migration and Language Education Published: 30 April, 2020, Volume 1(1), 3–13. Download PDF

L2 motivation in ESP and EGP courses: An investigation of L2 motivational selves among learners of English in Saudi Arabia
Aser Nazzal K. Altalib
Australian Journal of Applied Linguistics Published: 30 April, 2019, Volume 2(1), 1–16. Download PDF