This paper considers key questions concerning computer-based languagelearning environments. Using evidence from current literature, it discusses the main characteristics of such environments including human, technical and physical resources, communicative structures, information management, and cultural contexts. It then uses data from an investigation of the universities of Cambridge, Toronto and Ulster to assess the pedagogical effectiveness of the computer-based environments currently in operation in these three institutions. It considers, in particular, the integrative role that computer-based language learning environments seem to provide. Although each institution has integrated computer technology into language teaching and learning in different ways, a key element of each environment has been the establishment of a common computer-mediated infrastructure, enabling effective information dissemination, resource distribution, communication and teaching and learning. No single common infrastructure would be suitable in all three, however, in each case, it was found that the environments created were valuable, especially in integrating elements of the teaching and learning process that would normally have remained apart. In concluding that the creation of a computer-based language learning environment in the present climate is beneficial, it was noted that adequate technical resources and a management that is keen to integrate computer technology into all aspects of university life is a key factor in their success.