This paper presents a reflection on the design of an Intelligent Computer-Assisted Language Learning (ICALL) ‘ecosystem’, integrated into an online learning environment for Spanish as a Foreign Language (SFL). The innovative dimension of the ecosystem lies in its triple focus: apart from enabling users to create and use intelligent language learning materials, it also tracks their activities in the environment and provides them insights (e.g. through knowledge clips) into Natural Language Processing (NLP), the source of ICALL’s ‘intelligence’. The reflective analysis is carried out by means of a case study with 32 SFL students, who work with the ecosystem in a blended writing course focused on vocabulary learning, lexical ambiguity, and Word Sense Disambiguation (WSD). Students’ attitudes towards engaging in the ICALL ecosystem are gauged through a questionnaire, which revealed a statistically significant positive change in attitude after having completed the course. However, the results also show that enhanced insights into NLP and increased confidence in the computer as a learning assistant do not necessarily go hand in hand with an increased curiosity and a better user experience.