Technology Enhanced Language Learning

Dr. K J Vargheese, Associate Professor of English Literature, Christ College, Irinjalakuda, speaks on Technology Enhanced Language Learning at a seminar organised by Higher Education Council of Kerala at R Sankar Memorial SNDP College, Koyilandi on January 12, 2011.

The talk opened with the question “Why should teachers make use of technology in language learning today?” The first reason for this question according to him is that digital media plays an important part in the way that we use language in the real world. As much of our day-to-day communication is mediated by digital tools including email, SMS, Facebook, Twitter, whatsapp etc., people tend to use it more. He explains that it is important to explore these tools as it is to media such as newspapers, because digital media are now normal sites of language use.

He said that technology is superior to provide solutions to some of the problems that language teachers encounter. For example, in the context of a single-language classroom there is little reason for students to converse in the target language except when the teacher tells them to. Digital tools are good enough to make them to communicate with people outside the classroom, for example by using blogs or videos either to a general audience or in partnership with a class of learners elsewhere. Technology offers plenty of novel possibilities from innovative ways of presenting contents to new games for language practice.

In summary, he said digital tools and media are part of everyday communication and should, therefore, be part of language learning. In addition, the range of possibilities offered by digital tools indicates that there are several ways in which technology can enhance language learning.

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