Due to the rapid advancement of technology and its impact on English learning outside of the classroom, Informal Digital Learning of English (IDLE) has grown in popularity among English learners. However, understanding of this emerging phenomenon has been limited to individual characteristics, neglecting the wider environmental contexts that influence IDLE. We analyzed factors influencing one's perceptions or behaviors of IDLE in light of Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory using 103 IDLE-related papers published in A&HCI and SSCI journals between 2010 and 2021. The two most frequently mentioned factors were at the Individual (n = 161; e.g., personal interests and motivation) and Micro-system levels (n = 51; e.g., teachers, family, and friends). Our analysis also found that more research is needed at the Meso-system (n = 9; e.g., social network users and interaction with gamers), Exo-system (n = 11; e.g., parents' income/educational level and mass media), Macro-system (n = 24; e.g., globalization and cultural differences), and Chrono-system levels (n = 7; virtual intercultural experience). The study concludes with promising research agendas, such as school-based action research and the role of parental support, cultural norms, religious beliefs, and pandemic-induced online teaching on one's IDLE perceptions or behaviors. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
CitationGuo, X., & Lee, J. S. (2023). A systematic review of Informal Digital Learning of English: An ecological systems theory perspective. System, 117, Article 103097. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2023.103097
- Informal digital learning of English
- Extramural English
- Language learning beyond the classroom
- Ecological systems analysis
- Systematic review