The era where computers rule the world is here. Just as technology plays a major key role in business relations, entertainment, music, movies, and almost every aspect of our everyday lives, it plays an equally important role in education. Studies have shown that 90% of students have access to some type of computer or mobile device – whether at school, at work, or at home. So, it’s not surprising to see the evolution of classrooms and teaching methods gravitating in the direction of technology.
New, technology-integrated classroom systems have become popular for language learning in the recent years. Blended learning, virtual classrooms, and learning management systems are all examples of this new era of teaching methodology that top pedagogical experts are endorsing. These methods incorporate the use of technology in language learning to strengthen learner engagement, facilitate the instructor’s role, and provide a structured, comprehensive learning experience for everyone involved.
It’s easy to see that educational institutes need to begin transitioning to a more tech savvy way of language teaching or risk falling behind to more advanced competitors. But what other benefits does technology bring to language learning?
Benefits of Technology for Language Learning
#1 Remote Access to Language Education
The most inspiring aspect of technology is its ability to reach audiences all over the world. In language learning, it means teachers can be hired locally and students access courses that are taught by native language speakers – ensuring proper language immersion. Taking language education online opens a door that allows virtually anyone to have access to that course and its resources. Without technology, teaching is restricted to a geographical area, a specific school, or a specific classroom; with it, the reach is endless.
#2 Blended Language Learning Courses
Blended Learning courses combine in-class and online language learning to increase student engagement. In this way, classroom teaching and online training are complementary to each other. The role of the instructor moves from a teacher to a facilitator. Students complete structured, comprehensive eLearning modules that teach them the language then attend classroom discussions where the teacher can focus on class weaknesses rather than simply reciting language rules to the students. Technology makes blended learning a reality and promotes an intuitive language learning methodology that is proven to be successful for language development.
#3 Interactive Language Learning is Crucial
Experts have studied and debated that language learning through input only is not only ineffective but is also not successful at achieving learner language development. The best way to learn something is through an interactive learning environment created by technological tools and resources. For students learning a language, it‘s key to ‘do’ things with language rather than just learning about language from your teacher. Technology makes it possible for students to interact with their language courses and gather a more complete understanding of all of the language components. Some students feel more comfortable, less embarrassed to make mistakes and learn from them in this interactive, intuitive model.
#4 Real World Problem Solving Made Possible
Most of us have opened a text book and realized how outdated it was; featuring topics that are no longer relevant with pictures and graphics that have long gone out of education style. On the contrast, language learning platforms, especially cloud-based ones, are easily updated on a regular basis. The course content, material, tools, resources, format, etc., can all be refreshed and re-uploaded onto the cloud to guarantee students always have the most up-to-date content available to them. Simultaneously, they are also interactively learning in a virtual environment that mimics real-world situations they can experience outside of the classroom. For example, Dexway Language Innovation has UK and USA English courses that different and are tailored to the audience in that area of the world.
#5 Encourages Student Collaboration
It’s a common misconception that mixing education and technology individualizes and singles out students in classroom. Students nowadays are extremely technologically adept and experts agree that the use of tech savvy educational methods in classrooms create a collaborative language learning environment where students can live in a world of learner’s autonomy and learn from one another. Via technological platforms, students and instructors can share ideas, documents, host online courses, run training seminars, and give each other honest individual feedback. Technology creates a bridge for a gap in the language learning world by creating a community of like-minded learners with the same language development objectives and interactively connects them to the resources they need to succeed.
Every facet of our daily lives is in one way or another saturated by the use of technology tools which have proven to enrich and make our lives a little easier every day. Moral of the story: technological advancements have made everything a little better for citizens of the modern age. The educational sector is no exception here; technology has been exponentially beneficial for language learning and development. From making language courses available to the whole world to bridging the gap in student-teacher language communication, we have technology to thank for the innovative developments that led to a better learning process for all.
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