Benefits and Methodological Implications
ICT in Language Learning
ICT as a medium for teaching is becoming more and more admitted. Many big Universities and language Schools have applied ICT to improve their education system. Some teachers appreciate its values; others tend to be rather reserved to the option of having the electronic environment “overtake the classroom”.
Many experiences of using e-learning as a support classes have proved to be positive and stimulating both for students and the teacher.
In language teaching, the educational and tutoring support available can be used in creating the e-learning environments for teaching general language courses in different languages at different levels. At the same time, ICT enables us to foster student-centered learning, individualization and support building up a sense of belonging to a community. the article below will discuss the use of ICT in Language learning in detail.
2. Theoretical background
2.1 Student motivation and e-learning
ICT supports the modern principles of learning and language acquisition. Individualization, interaction and student motivation which are considered crucial in modern education theories, are necessarily a part of the process in ICT. As Theobald (2006: 1) points out, some students need extrinsic tools to increase their motivation. Intrinsic motivation, however, is “the ultimate goal of educators for their students.” Intrinsic motivation is often attributed to finding a value in what students do. Theobald (2006: 1) concludes: Helping students find value in learning through the implementation of various instructional strategies and multiple alternative and authentic forms of assessments, while maintaining high standards of student performance in an environment which encourages students to do their best work by effective, nurturing teachers, will help increase the motivational levels of all students.
Hasanbegovic (2005) reviews that it is predicted and evidenced that intrinsically motivated students do more in a fixed time period as a result of their higher effort and persistence and will do different things in computer environments that allow for this liberty of choice.
A well-balanced ITC environment will enable students to feel the above points and stay motivated throughout the learning process. Motivation, individualization, learning in context and the activation of the learner – all buzzwords in modern education – are often a part and a parcel of a successful ICT support.
2.2 Learner responsibility and teacher’s role
An equally important aspect is learner responsibility, which is the students´ capacity to pursue their goals. A modern student, especially at the university level, must know why and what he needs to study, and to be able to design and stick to their personal study plan. Wilson (1981: 61) points out that student development through the university years can be seen as follows:
One view is that student growth occurs through an invariant sequence of stages or levels in which progress from stage to stage implies a restructuring and reorganization of what went before. ´Higher´ stages are qualitatively different from ´lower´ stages in terms of the way the individual thinks, feels or acts. Another influential view is that student development is to be seen in terms of mastery of a series of developmental “tasks” which involve the individual’s maturation in the different aspects of intellect, emotions and social relationships.
Today, the role of the teacher is more like an advisor, an expert in the field whose task is to support the student’s development. This is much more creative and much more challenging than the traditional “design and control the study process” concepts. Teachers are powerful motivational socialisers. Being the officially designated leaders within the classroom, they embody group conscience, symbolize the group’s unity and identity, and serve as a model or a reference. They also function as an “emotional amplifier” of the group whose appeals and examples are critical for mobilizing the group. Simply speaking, it is to lead, direct and energize, that is, to motivate.
At the same time, the responsibilities going along with the teaching profession are increasing. It suggests that the teacher has a wider responsibility than the single classroom and includes contributing to the school, the system, other students, the wider community and collective responsibilities of teachers themselves as a group and the broader profession.
2.3. The possibilities for ICT
It is suggested that ICT and web-based learning solutions offer the learners the possibilities for making the learning process more interesting and challenging. Some of the capacities here are attractive and enthusing. J P Gee suggests (2009) that the principles these follow often relate to the principles of encouraging active learning. Out of the capacities that Gee relates to positive learning techniques in video-games.
Also, Gottlieb (2009: 26-37) states that the modernity of the medium and its parallels to the developments in virtually all other spheres of human life, where the digital revolution reaches from citizen journalism to museum pedagogy , help to make it attractive.