Review articleAPPROACHES FOR LEARNING ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN THE DIGITAL ERA P.
Jagadeeswari, PhD Research Scholar, Hindustan Arts andScience College, Bharathiyar University, Coimbatore. Abstract Communication is an important mediumand an everyday requirement for knowledge acquisition and information sharingin higher education. India has one of the largest English learners as a secondlanguage in the world. Our country introduced the English language while theBritishers began to taught their people.As the most of the people in India are first time learner, they are very eagerto learn and practice the language skills through Information CommunitionTechnology enabled tools.
In view of emergence of the information communicationtechnologies, tools are developed to improve the writing, speaking andvacabulary skills. A noticeable disconnect between the goals of students(better writing and speaking skills) and a referred strategy (reading) points towarda need to overtly teach learner strategies in order to make students feel successful and thus empower them. Thispaper reviews the various ICT tools to improving the learning, vacabulary and writing skills. It is observedthat qualitative approach has described the way multimedia devices, internet,powerpoint, audio-visual aid are used to facilitate the teaching and learningof English Language in class room teaching.KeywordsICTs,Internet, Communication tools, Classroom interactions, skill developement.Introduction The impact of new information andcommunication technologies (ICTs) on globalization is so significant that it isno longer exaggerated to say that the 21st century will most certainly be thatof advanced technological communication and culture.
In other words, futureeconomic growth and development are likely to come neither from theavailability of natural resources, nor from manufactured goods, but from easyaccess to information and communication networks and their interactive multimediaapplications. Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) have become afundamental part of our everyday lives in this technological age (Aborisade,2012). Information and communication technology is a multi-dimensional concept.Information and communication technology can be conceptualised in fourdifferent ways namely: tools view, computational view, ensemble review andproxy view (Harindranath and Sein, 2004). Using information and communicationtechnology as a tool sees it as a means to achieve something while thecomputational view emphasizes the machine in it. As the globalaliation started,communication and information technologies (ICT) have also changed the sphereof education and research. The use of ICT is widespread in thecontemporary process of second language teaching and learning. The newtechnologies are crossing over borders at a very faster rate than is possiblein physical terms.
Suddenly, unexpected encounters with other languages andcultures confront people throughout the world with new choices, objectives,opportunities and challenges (Fitzpatrick, 2004). One of the most importantdevelopments in second language learning over the past three decades has beenthe realization of the importance of culture in learning countries. ICT haveundoubtedly facilitated the integration of authentic interculturalcommunicative activities into the classroom. They have offered newpossibilities of access to plenty of current, up-to-date materials from thecountries of the target language and even to contact actual speakers of otherlanguages in distant locations. Canagrajah (1999) emphasized thatlearners should learn “to use English not mechanically and diffidently, butcreatively and critically”. While developing students’ English language skills,literature simultaneously appeals to their imagination, develops social,cultural and political awareness and simultaneosly encourages criticalthinking. Literature can be helpful in the language learning process byensuring reader’s personal involvement in the acquisition process. While corelanguage teaching materials concentrate on language as a rule based system andas a socio- semantic system, literature enables learners to achieve controlover second language going beyond mechanical aspects of the language system.
Though ICT plays a powerful learningenvironment for both learners and teachers (Smeets, 2005), all over the world, the concern is very highon the impact that electronic communication especially ICTs are having on thedevelopment of teaching and learning techniques in general. It draws evidencefrom our local good practice at FUNAAB, in e-Learning that has enriched theEnglish language learning experience of students who put under the practice.This review is on the use of digital technologies (ICTs)/electroniccommunication like internet, audio-visual aid, white board, power pointpresentation and language lab to enrich classroom interaction and facilitateteaching and learning. Theoretical issues With the advent of computer, differentterms have been used which imply its overall usage in the sphere of languageeducation: CALI (Computer-Assisted Language Instruction, 1960s-1970s) based ona teacher-centered approach (instructional); CALL (Computer Assisted LanguageLearning, 1980) focused mainly on a student-centered approach; TELL(Technology-Enhanced Language Learning, 1990) which refers to the use of thecomputer as a technological innovation. Nowadays the term blended learning hasbecome commonly used, but it is not new. It is a combination of face to faceand computer assisted learning (CAL) in a single teaching and learningenvironment (Neumeier, 2005). Many experts prefer to talk about Information andCommunication Technologies (ICT) rather than CALL, focusing mainly on communicationtechnologies which include Internet, ahats app, face book, wireless networks,cell phones, and other communication media.
Information and CommunicationTechnologies are concerned with the receiving inputs, storage, retrieval,manipulation, transmission or receptionof digital data. The data is transferredor communicated to people over long distances by electronic medium. In the pastthree decades ICT have created “global information space” providing people withscope of “lifelong learning” and improving vacabulary wrting and speakingskills.Audio-visual Devices Audio-visual devices such as CD /DVD player, audiocassette recorder, video camera and computer programs continueto be the most widely used by modern language learners. Their usage is justifiedpsychologically, as these are the auditory and visual organs that let thelearners get the main information about the surrounding world.
Besides, suchinformation is easily available for perception and faster learning. The socalled “Communicative Language Teaching”, which is very popularnowadays for the second language learners, gives credit to the use of the”authentic language” as it is used in a real life context wheneverpossible. “Structured Drills”, which are widely used in especially audio-lingualmethod, make the process monotonous and these boring activities direct thestudents to look for new tools and materials, to make the learning entertainingand interesting. Computer programs designed for english language learning canfall into four categories: 1)Training programs.
2)Monitoring programs.3)Information retrieval, information and reference programs.4)Computer assisted programs. There are some other classificationsof computer programs, but what we want to focus on is emphasize theiradvantages over traditional teaching techniques. Their main distinct featuresare multimedia devices (combination of different ways of informationrepresentation) and interactivity (dialogue- relations between a computer tooland a learner). They provide a large data capacity, it allows representing anylinguistic model in different contexts, learning, writing and speechsituations. In addition, computer programs stimulate learners ‘self-directedlearning, cognitive activity and intensify their learning and acquintenceskills. Learners can choose their own pace and exercises depending on theirlevel of language acquitance, it promotes stress relief and creates favorablelearning climate.
Some programs have features of adding supplementary exercisesand enable learners to create their own software. learners can choose anauthoring program that best suits their learning skills and design materialsaccording to their learning level and learners’ needs (Jurich, 2001). Internet Internet is one of the best ICT toolwhich can be viewed through mobile, computer and lap top. With the emegence ofinformation revolution in our country, Internet accebility have reached all thestakeholder of the learners like students and teachers. Teachers and learnershave at their disposal an instrument which combines all the advantages ofaudio-visual aids. Internet being a key source of all kinds of information, ithas become an additional means of getting authentic audio and video materials.Integrating information resources of the Internet in a language classroomallows completing different tasks of english language.
• To improve reading abilities with differentdegree of complexity. • To enhance writing skills using e-mail, chatetc. • To enlarge active and passive vocabularywith contemporary language units. • To familarise the cultural featuresincluding customs, traditions, speech etiquette of the country of the target language. Dane and Maria (2004) reported thatRussNet is empowering programs of Russian at all levels to expand courseofferings into much-needed, new areas, while providing necessary support toteaching faculty through online tutorials and regularly scheduled workshops inthe use and customization of learning modules. The long-term intent of theprogram is to permit departments and faculties to redesign current courseofferings and to be able to respond affirmatively to requests from learners forspecialized courses in Russian for business majors, lawyers, or law-enforcementprofessionals. Only then will foreign language study become truly mainstream.
Beyond school and university courses, RussNet also serves as a learningresource for in-service professionals. It is intended as a virtual classroomfor academics, business executives, diplomats, journalists, or otherprofessionals who require quality-assured learning resources, whether toexplore and master new discourse domains, or undertake a refresher courses.Such is the lifelong nature of all serious foreign language acquisition andmaintenance. Interactive Whiteboard Interactive whiteboards is one ofthe communication tool which have become popular over the last few years andthey seem to have a greater array of educational tools due to softwaredevelopment. Designing learning process around interactive whiteboards helpsteachers ease their preparation, be more of client in their ICT integration and increase learning productivity ingeneral. Interactive whiteboard is a modern multimedia device and like aregular white board. It provides possibilities of commenting on screen imageswhich can then be printed or saved like any other document.
It improveslearning environment in several ways, including enhancing the level of studentengagement in the classroom, motivating students and promoting enthusiasm forlearning (Bacon, 2011). Interactive white boards helps many different learningstyles and are used in a variety of learning environments (Chapell, 2003).Immediate Internet access while working with the interactive white board makesit a unique tool to interact with digital culture, language content andmultimedia. English language learning activities may include.
•Commenting on the teaching material, highlighting the error, correcting theerrors, addition of supplementary information. •Work with the text, translation of some sentences.•Typing using virtual keyboard and its viewing online. •Using numerous pictures helping to understand unknown words and make the lessonmore interesting.•Watching the websites/ video by the whole class.
•Conducting online conferences and seminars to improve the communication. Power point Digital technology (PowerPoint) is aneeded change in our english teaching situation. The benefits derivable and thereality of being left behind without powerpoint should be emphasized andstressed.
In a language laboratory study conducted by Jones (2003), observedthat most (52.9%) of the students claimed they have a very good experience ofusing PowerPoint and they often use it (51.0%). Majority also indicated thatthey use digital technologies to reorganise information (76.4%), aid learning(75.
6%), make inferences (73.2%), make evaluative comments (68.3%) and locatenew ideas (65.0). These finding are corroborated with Aborisade (2012) andAkeredolu-Ale et al.(2014) whoreported that PowerPoint enriches students’ learning experience in theclassroom. Amongst many other benefits, it encourages active note-taking basedon the course outline thereby facilitating better understanding of the courses. Conclusion The research indicates that amongthe many ICT tools avaialble for the english learning acquisition the followingones can be used effcectively: In thisage of digital explosion, language skills have become the most valuable asset,making education sector to deliver as per the need.
Indian state universitieshave acknowledged the significance of ICT in present educational system able tocope with the morden developments. In the emerging digidal driven knowledge era,there is a great demand to develop the necessary digital skills to improve theemployablity of students. 1.Hence the curriculum of the college level education should be suitablytransformed with ICT.2.The English Language teachers in turn should be familiar with advanced toolsand techniques to teach students. 3.
It is indeed a need to recommend that state universities should devolop thecomputer literacy.4.universities should take a step for introducing a massive open online courses.5.
Establishment of ICT clubs in every colleges apart from increasing theaccessibility and affordability of ICT tools will open a new vistas in improving the language skills. Digitaltechnologies like power point, audio-visual aid, internet and interactivewhiteboards are excellent aids for acquisition of english language. When usedappropriately and based on the creativity of the user, the digital technologiesare flexible tool to improve and facilitate the development of interactiveteaching and learning among faculty members and students.The concise nature ofdigital tools is beneficial to the students as they are able to take in thecogent points presented. Teachers should be involved in the preparation of thecontents and must be competent to present in the context of learning. Alsoaccess to ICT tools should be provided in class rooms with an encouragement forpreparative viewing and practicing the vacabulary, reading, writing andspeaking of english language. ReferenceAborisade, P. A.
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