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Using Technology in the Language Classroom: A Pedagogical Framework

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Christina Gitsaki

on 8 February 2013

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Transcript of Using Technology in the Language Classroom: A Pedagogical Framework

Using Technology
in the Language Classroom:
A Pedagogical Framework

Dr. Christina Gitsaki
Dean of English, HCT General Questions Why Use Technology in the Classroom? Technology in the Language Learning Classroom Do you think computer technology should play a central or a peripheral role in language teaching and learning?

Can technology replace teachers in the classroom? What role can it play? What role do teachers play?

Does technology make the teacher’s role more or less difficult? Overview Technology Evolution:
Phases in the use of technology in the language classroom
Past, Present and Future directions
Technology Revolution:
Mobile technology in language learning
Critical Issues
Framework for using the Web for ESL
Q&A 50 years of the use of computer technology in the language learning classroom.

Technology use has evolved alongside language learning theories and pedagogical approaches. Digital Literacy “The person who is not technologically literate, in our world, is not a fully educated person”
(Hunter, 1992, p.26). 21st Century Skills technological literacy
communication skills
access & use information to draw conclusions
make generalizations
become self-directed learners
collaborate and co-operate in teams
(CEO Forum on Education & Technology 2000) 1960's - 1970's Behaviourist Learning Model
“Drill and Kill”
Computer: the tireless mechanical tutor
Drill practice: easy to program on the computer because of their “systematic and routine character” and “their lack of open-endedness” (Kenning & Kenning, 1990, p.53) 1960's - 1970's Advantages:
Individualized instruction
Instant feedback
Self-paced learning

Passive learner
Absent teacher (peripheral role)

If technology could prove effective, there would be a good reason to replace teachers. Computer Age: 1980's - 1990's Communicative Phase
Communicative Language Teaching Approach
Focus on the Use of forms (not only on the forms themselves)
Text-reconstruction, gap filling, speed reading, vocabulary games Computer Age: 1980's - 1990's Teachers can author computer programs
Multimedia Software
Technology could not teach communicative competence
Computer programs did not pay attention to individual learner characteristics (Chapelle 1989, pp.7-9)

Technology was used in different ways with different software: hard to reach any conclusions as to its effectiveness for language teaching Digital Age: 1995-2000 Web-Assisted Language Learning

“Part library, part publishing house, part telephone, part interactive television, the Web represents one of the most diverse and revolutionary media in human history” (Warschauer & Healey, 1998, p.64)

ICT and the Web are “a media today's kids expect to use for expression and communication- it’s a big part of the world into which they were born.”
(Web-Based Education Commission, 2000) Using the Web
for Language Learning Dynamic, Current, Open-ended
Easy to Use
No Specialized Computer Knowledge is necessary
Fun to use (pictures, sounds, animation, video)
Authentic Material used in real-life situations
Learner-centered activities
Enables students to practice Speaking and Listening which were previously difficult to handle on the computer. Using the Web
for Language Learning Disadvantages:
The web lacks structure. Cluttered.
Overwhelming amount of information.
Irrelevant and useless material.
Commercialized (lots of ads and flashing commercial info).

Not all information is appropriate for EFL learners.
The Web does not provide a framework for the tasks to be completed.
There is no underlying language learning syllabus.
It is up to the teacher to prepare the way for the use of the computer in this circumstance (Levy 1997, p.203). The Teacher Facilitator
Provides guidance
Organizes collaborative projects
Researcher (explores the web for resources)
Framer (establishes a frame through which the students can enter the web). The Learner Autonomous – Responsible for their work and learning.
Able to direct learning into the areas he/she is interested in.
Creative (able to publish on the web).
Able to communicate directly with the teacher and ask for feedback or advice.
Experimenter and Researcher (Ruchoff, 1992). Interactive Age:
2000-2005 Social Networking
Cloud Computing
Web 2.0 tools
Easy sharing
Online communities
Free access to
sophisticated software Web 2.0 The appearance of social networking tools is changing the way students process information, interact and learn.

Teachers: skeptical about using web 2.0 tools for teaching English Mobile Learning: 2005 - 2010 Mobile Learning: 2005-2010 Technologies:
Mobile Phones
Tablet laptops

Mobile learning:
Ubiquity (anytime, anywhere learning)
Pervasiveness and ambience

Mobile technology is well-placed to be educationally adaptive. Mobile-Assisted Language Learning Vocabulary acquisition (Levy & Kennedy, 2007 Thornton & Houser, 2005; Song & Fox, 2008)
Grammar practice (Ally et al., 2007)

Behaviourist mobile learning:
it's not meant to be the best learning practice, but rather, it was found to be an effective approach that was well-integrated by the mobile technology. iPad Revolution: 2010 Adopted as part of school curricula
Portability, mobility, ease of use
Instant access to the web
Over 20,000 educational apps
Over 500 apps for ESL Learning with iPads “Given the iPad’s newness, there hasn’t been enough time for empirical studies on its effectiveness to have been conducted”
(Gorichanaz, 2011) Learning with iPads Students are positive about learning with iPads (Brand, Kinash, Mathew & Kordyban, 2011)

Enhance student interest & creative exploration
Facilitate active learning
Provide easy access to and manipulation of digital content (Morrone, Gosney & Engel, 2012) Learning with iPads iPads:
Make lessons more interesting
Encourage exploration of additional topics
Provide functions and tools not possible with a textbook
Help students more effectively manage their time
(Angst & Malinowski, 2010)
Facilitate learning for students with learning disabilities (McClanahan, Williams, Kennedy & Tate, 2012) iPads in Language Learning Preliminary research:
Gains in oral language and student engagement in students with special education needs (Cumming & Rodriguez, 2012) HCT Student Survey 1,802 students
Preliminary results:
The iPad has helped me improve my:
reading (85%)
grammar (82%)
vocabulary (90%)
listening skills (80%)
writing skills (81%)
study skills (80%)
I am more motivated to learn (88%) & attend class (84%)
I do more studying (74%)
I have greater confidence for learning English (84%) Adoption of Technology for ESL Pedagogical Considerations The effectiveness of technology for language development is largely dependent upon the pedagogical and language acquisition principles guiding their design (see Chapelle, 2003).

Student-centred, project-based, experiential learning environment Critical Issues Evaluating Learning with Technology
Current practices for evaluating the impact of technology in education need broadening as they may not measure the full extent of the impact.

Standardized test scores say little about how to improve technology’s effectiveness.

Formative evaluation tells us what technology applications work, under what conditions, and with which students. Pedagogical Considerations Pedagogy:
Avoid Techno-centric Thinking: The focus is on the technology, esp. hardware
Technology-Enhanced vs. Technology-Driven
Decisions about the use of Educational Technology should be prefaced with a consideration of learning theory and the learning environment. Gift Wrapping Approach Technology Integration Things to Keep in Mind Using technology in teaching and learning contexts requires advanced planning and greater time commitments upfront and throughout classroom tasks.
“One of the most important things kids have today is the love of embracing change”
(John Seely Brown, Deloitte Center)

Teachers also need to embrace change
if we are to engage our students and prepare them for the future. “The central task of education is to implant a will and facility for learning: it should produce
not learned but learning people.

Because in times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”
Eric Hoffer Pedagogical Framework The Teacher as a Researcher The Teacher:
researches the Web
builds a database of useful sites
decides which what is suitable
designs activities Students Access Specified Sites
The teacher finds websites and students access them.
The information can be used in many different ways. Evaluating Web Sites Language learning potential.
An appropriate variety of English is used.
The vocabulary and subject matter are appropriate for the target audience.
Language does not contain grammatical errors and the information presented is accurate.
Content is culturally appropriate.
Students As Researchers Students surf the web and access websites looking for specific information. Web-Based Projects: An Example 6-Stage Web-Search Project:
Introduce students to a topic
Vocabulary and brainstorming activities
Formulate a research question
Surf the Web, search for specific information
Fill in a chart
Share information with classmates
Students need:
A list of keywords
A chart/table
SMART Principles Specific
Impact of WELL The web is a useful tool for ESL.
Internet-based activities can energize the EFL classroom.
Web-based projects offer opportunities for interaction.
Exposure to authentic language use
Web-search projects enhance creativity and individuality.
Teacher control.
Useful for beginners Advantages:
Hands on.
Site is easy to navigate (user-friendly).
The design is not too dense or boring.
Do the links on the site work?
Is it a personal, commercial, government or organization site?
Increases the amount of class time for communicative activities.
Participation in communicative activities.
Diversity in the classroom.
Personalizing activities
Pre-intermediate level and above. Disadvantages:
Teacher: no control
Students need guidance
“Succeeding in a digital, information-oriented society demands multiliteracies, that is, competence in an even more diverse set of functional, academic, critical, and electronic skills” (Kasper, 2000:105).
Multiliteracies Students practice speaking, reading & writing
They use English to surf the web & find information
They become
functionally literate
They learn how to use electronic tools for research, construction of projects, and autonomous learning
They become
electronically literate They research the web & access a variety of texts, they analyze and evaluate the information they find, and finally select what is useful to them.
They become
academically & critically literate HCT iPad Initiative 2012-2013
Foundations students and teachers
First round of data collection is still in progress Need to find new ways to identify and measure the skills and knowledge that students gain from using technology. Marriage of sound pedagogy and technological tools. Disadvantages:
Resources not appealing to all students
Time consuming Disadvantages:
Time consuming
The websites may not appeal to all of the students.
Teach basic computer, e-mail & web-surfing skills.
Teachers as computer technicians.
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