From a background in linguistics, lexicology and discourse analysis, I went on to teach French as a foreign language when I came to The Open University to lead a team in charge of developing the University’s first ever programme of distance-taught languages. This programme used technology to assist the development of skills concerned with speaking in interaction (in this case, with others who were sometimes in distant countries or even continents). Media for achieving remote interaction increasingly include Internet-based communication systems allowing virtual tutorials to be conducted, and voice-supported collaborative work to take place, across distances. From 2000 to 2005, I oversaw the roll-out of one such system to 7000 language students at The Open University. My research, within the Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology is directed at the implications of changes in the way that we learn, teach and communicate with such platforms and with social media.