“ICT MEDIUM IN LANGUAGE LEARNING “

Posted: March 12, 2013 in Trend in ELT Assignment

INTRODUCTION

ICT as a medium of instruction to be more. In this essay we would like to share some aspects of the use of ICT that has been proven to be positive and stimulating for both students and teachers. We share our experience in using the tools related to ICT in the classroom to teach English at different levels. Our focus will be on how the media-based learning environment using ICT media are used to support student-centered learning to improve student motivation, individualization and collaboration in understanding and understand the material being taught, at the same time the media ICT can facilitate students’ understanding of the absorbing material learning and develop a sense of “we” and the common good. Taking a look at our different programs of the past and the present, we will look at different ways of motivating students by involving them in developing their own learning materials. We analyze how ICT solutions can be used as a support for different classroom activities, group-work and pair-work task, to work independently, to establish student-centered learning and the principles of individualization, which form a personal opinion and can express it in the issue topic issues.
OBJECTIVES
The  application  of  Information  Communication  Technology  (ICT)  in  English  learning  and teaching has become very popular. Using the Internet to learn a language can compensate for the lack of communication with the native speakers face to face and can create wide opportunities to enhance  learning.  While  ICT  has  had  a  major  influence  on  the  teaching  and  learning  of languages, there are some controversies  between theory and practice, especially  using it for different areas of language study (Barret and Sharma, 2007). Some disagreements cover areas such as the teaching of grammar, vocabulary, language skills and testing. However, advantages of English learning on the Internet surpasses its disadvantages. The Internet activities promote learner self-monitoring ability, strengthen and develop students’ cooperation, encourage the use of  multimedia  and  network  technology,  allow  to  employ  weblogs  and  wikis  for  online publishing, foster participation in different thematic discussion groups and chat rooms and communication with foreign pen-pals via e-mail as well as employ other interactive atasks such as podcasting (Zhong, 2008).
The use of animation flash ( Macromedia Flash Program ) has become preferable to the use of common paper slide movie or slide character cartoon and  due to the ease of their application. There is no need for accumulating files of written work, which solves the problem of storing space and, to some extent, helps reduce students’ and teachers’ workload.
The goal of this essay have been to show  learners’ attitudes to the application of e- Learning  in learning English for Specific Purposes (ESP), and to explain learners’ reflections on e-learning in view of fostering sustainable lifelong learning. The method of ICT Learning  is a specially designed slide show animation live  to study how much student can get the material learning , participants of ICT Learning  are the students who learn English for Specific Purposes at tertiary level.
The language portfolio has become an important part of language instruction due to its multiple opportunities such as authentic assessment of learners’ knowledge and skills, their active participation  in  the  evaluation  process,  and  development  of  skills  of  critical  thinking. It  contains information on specific descriptors for the linguistic skills required to study in the higher education or lower education. The most important feature  of  ICT Learning is  the  support  of  reflective  learning,  which  means  that  learner  self- assessment plays a central role to understand and applicate what the ICT Learning’s contain. The reasons for engaging learners in self-assessment are: first, it is a learner-centered learning; second, self-assessment is an integral part of evaluation processes which aim at encouraging learners to take responsibility for their learning; third, it is a tool for lifelong language learning, this reason can be reached by using ICT Learning.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
Some of the fact In a language classroom the computer may have the following roles:
•   teacher – it teaches students new language
•   tester – it tests students on the already learned structures
•   tool – it assists students to do certain tasks
•   data source – it provides students with the information they need to solve different tasks
•   communication facilitator – it allows students to communicate with others. Let us discuss in detail each of the roles the computer has in a language class.
Computer as a teacher. In the early years of CALL in schools some reluctantteachers made assumptions that in a few years teachers would no longer beneeded in schools, their role being taken over by computers. It is not the case,as we can very well see. Computerized teaching (computer as a teacher) usesmultimedia CD ROMS. In such programmes, students can listen to recordings,watch videos, speak into the microphone, record their progress or learn wordsby clicking on pictures and hearing their pronunciation. An alternative to CD ROMSis the World Wide Web. Students can practice all their skills there and it ismore useful for the teacher than the CD ROM because teachers can intervenewith their own ideas or materials.
Computer as a tester. Students can practice their knowledge of a specificlanguage using different Internet websites. A problem these sites have is the factthat the practice programmes are very limited in terms of practice materials.Basically, the practice material refers to multiple – choice exercises, dual – choiceexercises, true or false. The only answer the computer can give is Right or Wrong.
Despite these limitations computer grammar or vocabulary practice is enjoyed bystudents because  the  latter  feel  like  playing  and  get  the  feedback  without fearing  the  teacher’s criticism. They can also work in groups, sitting at the samecomputer and discussing the answers.
Computer as a tool. Computers are seen as tools because they provide tools foracquiring a foreign language. The large number of web-sites, pictures,projects, exercises, audio and video materials are all tools in the teaching andlearning process.
Computer as a data source. Little should be said about computers asinformation providers because we all know that, due to computers and theInternet, we can access almost any information we need. A particular aspect thatwe want to highlight is random Internet navigation. It refers to students surfing theweb with no particular aim. That is why teachers should offer them a number ofuseful websites and guide them in such a way as to find out information as soonas possible and solve their tasks.
Computer as communication facilitator. Nowadays the Internet is the principalmedium by which students can communicate with others. This can be done bye-mail, by chatting, or by participating in discussion forums. Teachers can set updiscussion forums and use them to communicate with their students. Orstudents can exchange didactic e-mails, discussing a topic presented in theclassroom or any other topic of interest.
The advantages of ICT usage in Foreign Language Teaching can be grouped as:
1. Capacity to control presentation. This capacity marks the difference betweencomputers and books. Books have a fixed presentation, unlike computers, whichcan combine visual with listening materials, text with graphics and pictures.
2. Novelty and creativity. A teacher can use different materials for each lesson, notlike in teaching with textbooks, where all classes presenting a certain topic arethe same.
3. Feedback. Computers provide a fast feedback to students` answers througherror correction. It not only spots the mistake but also corrects it, sometimeseven giving the appropriate advice.
4. Adaptability. Computer programmes can be adapted by teachers to suittheir students` needs  and  level  of  language knowledge. Unlike books, which are  produced in  a  single uniform format and need to be taught irrespectively ofstudents` problems, computer programmes are more learner- friendly.
We have pointed out the advantages of using ICT in the classroom. Butwe also want to state that they can not replace traditional teaching methods.Textbooks and any other printed materials are very necessary in theteaching/learning process. But ICT lessons can alternate traditional classes, ortraditional activities can be improved by using the computer or the Internet.
We have also designed an ICT class, based on the lesson “I Always Have Coffee”in the textbook “Snapshot” for the 6th grade.
The level of the students is pre-intermediate. The teacher wants todevelop their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. As far as the classmanagement is concerned, students are divided into pairs, each pair working on one computer. The lesson in the textbook is about Jon Bon Jovi, a famous singer,but this time the textbook is regarded only as a starting- point for the lesson.
The teacher’s task  is :
•   to prepare the class carefully
•   to know the stages of the lesson and its exact timing
•   to design activities for each stage
•   to be able to guide the students while working with the Internet
•   to have extra activities prepared in case something goes wrong
•   to ask for students` e-mail addresses in advance.
As a warm-up activity, the teacher starts the lesson by asking studentsto have a look at the pictures in the textbook. From that moment on, the textbook isno longer necessary, the only resource being the computer.
4.    ANALYSIS
There has been much debate over the use of computers and the Internet in Foreign Language Teaching over the past few years. The techniques offered, the activities and the degree of application in the language teaching syllabus have undergone a number of serious changes alongside the evolution of technology. The computer itself has evolved from the status of “tutor” to the one of “tool”.
The computer as a tool stage refers to the usage of computers as main tool for delivering instructional materials to learners (through drill and practice). The development of computer – based activities developed learner – computer and learner – learner interaction, engaging the learners in a wide range of communicative tasks. This was the moment computers assumed the role of stimuli in language learning. “The computer as a tool stage” refers to using computers  as  instruments  for  understanding  and  using  language  through  spelling  and grammar checkers, desktop editing programmes. All these steps is called CALL (Computer- assisted language learning)
The methodology of language learning has developed a new way of using ICT in teaching, the Hypermedia. Hypermedia provides the language teacher and the language learner with multimedia resources, such as texts, graphics, sound, animation, video linked together. It also has a number of advantages omitted by CALL. It offers an authentic learning environment, it combines  listening  with  seeing.  Skills  can  easily  be  integrated  in  the  teaching/learning process; reading, writing, speaking, listening can be combined in task- based learning.
It is also better for learners to use Hypermedia in classes. They have greater control over their learning because they can go at their own pace, they can do some activities on their own, can skip some parts of the text or revise the ones they find difficult. Another major advantage of hypermedia usage is that the learner can focus on the content and access different links with grammar explanations, exercises, vocabulary, pronunciation, etc
But,  all of that, hypermedia give different view to the active class. Students get used to learning the foreign language in a new and pleasant way, not just by interacting with the teacher and reading from the book but, they can get new experience by using ICT tool.
The application of ICT gives more opportunities for communication between learners: with another learner by share what they get from ICT tool, they can exchange information in real time, they can participate in blog discussions, work in teams  on  different  projects,  exchange  emails,  search  for  information, etc.  By  using  the authentic material provided by the Internet, we will have a better insight into the culture of the country and people whose language we study.
The Internet also offers a wide variety of reference materials like online dictionaries, e- encyclopaedias and search mechanisms very helpful for developing students` individual work. They can find, alone, the missing information, the meaning of new words, synonyms, antonyms or can communicate with the rest of the group online, via e-mail or in any other ICT environment.
SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATION
We know that the fact In a language Learning we can not leave  the ICT tool and ICT product, some of the fact are:
•   teacher – it teaches students new language
•   tester – it tests students on the already learned structures
•   tool – it assists students to do certain tasks
•   data source – it provides students with the information they need to solve different tasks
•   communication facilitator – it allows students to communicate with others. Let us discuss in detail each of the roles the computer has in a language class.
We can conclude The advantages of ICT usage in Language Learning are as:
1. Capacity to control presentation.
2. Novelty and creativity.
3. Feedback.
4. Adaptability.
We have pointed out the advantages of using ICT in the EnglishLearning as we read the essay  below.
Bibliografi
3.  Integrating ICT into Language Learning and Teaching, Guide for Authors – available at
4.  www.elearningguides.net /…/3b-GUIDES-TUTORS-EN.pdf.
5.  Brian, K., Williams, S.C., Sawyer, Sarah, E, Hutchinson. (2000). Using information technology:    a    practical    introduction    to  computer     and     communications.     Boston: McGraw-Hill
6.   Zhong, Y. A Study of Autonomy English Learning on the Internet. English Language Teaching. Vol. 1, No 2. Dec 2008.http://www.ccsenet.org/journal.html

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