FL instructor beliefs about machine translation: Ecological insights to guide research and practice

Emily Hellmich, Kimberly Vinall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Machine translation (MT) platforms have gained increasing attention in the educational linguistics community. The current article extends past research on instructor beliefs about MT by way of an ecological theoretical framework. The study reports on a large-scale survey (n=165) of FL universitylevel instructors in the U.S. Findings indicate strong lines being drawn around acceptable MT use (e.g., in relation to text length and skill, policies), an acknowledgement of widespread student use driven by diverse motivations, and the Janus-faced nature of MT's potential threat to the profession. These findings reveal several salient tensions in how MT mediates relationships in language education (e.g., constructions of students, the nature of language and language learning, goals of the profession) that shed new light on the impact of MT technologies on the field. Implications for future research and the development of pedagogical practices anchored in digital literacies conclude the piece.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021


  • Ecological Approaches
  • Google Translate
  • Instructor Beliefs
  • Machine Translation
  • Professional Development
  • Second/Foreign Language Acquisition
  • Survey Research
  • University Education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications


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