Using IT in Language Classes
Hanna Kryszewska, Poland
In the academic year 2104-2015 my Institute at the University of Gdańsk, Poland, offered a course: ICT in ELT (30 hours in total). It was delivered to pre-service teachers of English / MA candidates in their final year who had significant TT experience (teaching practice and an in-depth methodology course). The aim of the course was to weave IT into the expertise the students already had, to inform them of the advantages of using IT in language classes, and to make them aware of the available tools. I decided to run the course, although some might say I am not a IT superstar, however, I am aware of the many opportunities that arise from using ICT on ELT.
The course focused on how to plan lessons incorporating the use of various available ICT tools, finding out about literature on the subject, sharing ideas and experimenting with the various tools through presentations and online networking. At the end of the course I asked the students to write their opinions on:
- how much ICT they experienced in their own language learning,
- how much ICT they observed or used in their own teaching practice,
- how useful is ICT in ELT,
or make any other comments
NB. The voices have not been edited and they could choose which of the questions above they wanted to answer.
I believe that using IT tools in class has become inevitable in the teaching process. This is why I - as a future teacher - feel the need to make myself familiar with how to use the IT tools properly. Unfortunately, I think that still too little emphasis is put on in during the studies. What is more, I believe that it would be fruitful to practise the skills. Theoretical knowledge is one thing, but being able to apply it in practice
is something completely different. It is really necessary for the future teachers to be fluent in using IT tools in class. I have participated in an IT course during my studies and it turned out to be really fruitful – this is why I believe that more emphasis should be put on teaching students these skills.
Using IT in the classroom while teaching can be very useful. Personally, I think
it's a good way to engage students in the lesson because they find it very interesting, more interesting than a traditional lesson during which they have to write in their notebooks or do exercises in coursebooks. I have become acquainted with many useful materials and tools that are available on the Internet and to which every teacher has an easy access. Nowadays almost everything can be done via Internet so we should make use of such an opportunity. However, I still value traditional forms of teaching and learning, like writing down the most important rules, translating
sentences on the sheets of paper or doing exercises - all materials which are collected by students and to which they can return while learning and preparing to tests and exams. That is why in my opinion teachers should definietely use IT while teaching but they also should not forget about traditional and reliable methods.
We live in a society that is saturated with media. Children are going to be exposed to a dazzling variety of messages and cultural conditioning from a very early age, and the ever-expanding landscape of technology will only make the process more prominent. It is only fitting that the classroom should adapt accordingly and equip young learners with skills that will allow them to become active, conscious, critical media recipients, and IT is a huge part of that. As an aspiring teacher I want to look for ways to not only rely on technology that will allow me to teach my subject more
efficiently, but also to adapt popular media such as the students consume every day to faciliate critical thinking skills and media literacy on top of language skills. The technology is out there, it is designed to be used, and there are so many ways it could be harnessed to improve education on so many different levels that frankly, it would be foolish to ignore this new wealth of possibilities. I dearly hope that modern schools will continue to evolve to better represent the reality of the students' lives and provide
them with skills to navigate the rapidly changig society.
We think that using technology in the classroom is vital because technological innovations are around us and we are flooded with new ones all the time. In order to remain up to date and keep our students engaged, we should implement technology in our teaching routine. New technology has been an interest of a great number of students and for them it is a way to explore the changing world. With the use of tech tools the process of learning a foreign language can become more interesting and efficient. Moreover, it may enhance developing language skills and facilitate the
language acquisition as the learning process appears to take place in a natural environment for students. Tech tools can be used in many different ways, that is, teachers as well as learners can adapt them according to their needs.
Anna Sólkowska and Lisha Liu
The technology is present in every aspect of our lives. Therefore, it also should be a part of education, regardless of the age and level of language proficiency of the learners. In our opinion, this area still needs to be discovered by teachers and learners. We personaly find digital technologies, Internet, smartphones, computers, and interactive boards very useful and we cannot imagine teaching without using them in class.
Technology can help to raise students' interest in English. Especially, in the 21st century, when it is hard to force students to focus on learning. Thanks to computers and other learning devices, students can acquire language a new language without even noticing it or feeling bored. Teaching English through technology can reach even the youngest learners. It may also keep older learners in touch with language wherever they are and whatever they do.
Imagine the world in which you learn new words on your phone while going to
work or waiting in the queue in a supermarket. With such inventions as Google Glass, Smart Watch and The Cicret Bracelet it will be possible soon!
Lidia Zdzitowiecka and Dorota Weilandt
Internet Technology has been very popular in our homes for a number of years now.
However, its use in Polish schools is relatively new. Only recently has it been introduced to the classrooms and employed as a highly useful tool in second language
teaching. The role of IT is invaluable. Internet and its possibilties are endless: a wide
selection of materials, an instant access to data, just to name a few. The use of IT
in the classroom is becoming more and more common. It already complements English lessons providing them with materials otherwise inaccessible, and its use in future is very promising. Teachers need to be trained to truly benefit from IT, and
therefore the importance of instructing teachers to use interactive whiteboards,
presentations, films and other multimedia is apparent.
Kasia Lipska and Krzysiu Powiada
As young teachers-to-be we certainly think that technology is crucial for
present English teaching. First of all, in the era of omnipresent computers, tablets and smartphones it is impossible to avoid using them in teaching, too. Teachers, as well as
students, should be aware of the opportunities the Internet gives them. As far as gaining knowledge and sharing opinions is concerned, the social network is a source that is always up to date, with an endless amount of information. Second of all, information technology makes the students more engaged in the process of learning. Such materials are more visually attractive and they support reinforcement. Using videos, blogs, chats, etc. promotes creativity and speeds up the process of acquiring knowledge. Another point is that it is also a source of self-improvement ideas for the
teachers. They can attend webinars without leaving their homes, they can watch videos on youtube.com, developing their teaching skills, they can share opinions with other teachers all over the world. Additionally, it is a time-saver when it comes to preparing materials such as flashcards, crosswords, wordsearches, etc. They are easily obtainable on the Internet. To sum up, we can't imagine teaching without the help of technology. The only obstacle may be the fact that not all the schools are properly
equipped. We hope that such opportunity will be available for us in our future jobs. We are looking forward to the future of teaching with technology.
Katarzyna Żelazińska and Sara Ossowska
Using technology in language teaching is not only the future of education
but surely it has a huge impact on today's teaching. Unfortunately, young
teachers who would like to use the technology in their lessons often don't have an opportunity to do it. The reasons are many, starting with the lack of technology, the obsolete educational system, the archaic approach to the use of the technology in class and the whole negligence of it. Fortunately, the times are changing, the new generation will use more and more technology in their learning as well as in the teaching process. The reason is quite simple: technology is such a big part of everyday life and it is only a matter of time when it will be fully used in schools.
The learners will be more and more adjusted to the technology which will
translate to their English skills. But the obstacles are still there. The underfunding of the education and the aforementioned negligence will prove to be difficult to overcome, but not impossible. Sooner or later the technology will take the centre stage in teaching. With the generations changing, the educational system will also change. We just have to follow the pioneers, who will lead the way in the 21st century teaching. Into a brighter and more IT-friendly classroom.
Krzysztof Piecuch and Maciej Bochra
We believe that technology and its universal nature is extremely helpful in didactics and methodology. Not only does it speed up the actions of the learning process but it also makes it more attractive, especially for the young learners, who are acquainted with computers since their first day. Nowadays teaching without using technology is found archaic and useless. It is hard to deny such the view that technology is now an integral part of everyday life so it shouldn’t be underestimated in education as well.
During our IT course we learned how to adapt technological tools in teaching. It
confirmed our statements listed in the above paragraph; these tools are
crucial if the teacher wants to be successful. Such an attitude of the teacher makes
students aware that computers and other technological tools can serve as the
educational features (not only entertaining).
All things considered, the only proper conclusion is simple :technology is extremely important and helpful as long as modern teaching is considered.
Bartek Piwowarczyk and Damian Zakaszewski
As far as technology is concerned, it becomes very useful since we have access to
and can use a variety of online teaching tools. By using different applications on
smartphones and computers, teachers can prepare interesting activities. Lessons
thanks to the use of some devices become more attractive for students.
Contemporarily, learners are well acquainted with technology and they expect the
school to be more and more modern. Motivation of the students can be increased
thanks to the use of technology. What is more, devices and programmes enable teachers to save time spend on preparation of exercises. Moreover, more gifted students can create their own online projects. To sum up, omnipresent technology becomes more and more common as comes to teaching. Technological devices and online sources are useful not only for teaching IT, but it can also be used in all the other subjects.
Paula Labuda and Patryk Kuczyński
Even though IT is very popular nowadays it is not so popular in Polish schools. The
problem is lack of materials such as interactive whiteboards, worn equipment etc.
However, we find IT in ELT very useful, especially with the young learners who spend most of their free time in front of computers or with the cell phone in their hands. For young pupils lessons based on computers and technology are simply more
interesting and attractive. What is more, the biggest advantage of IT is that while
it is educational it is still fun. To be more specific, learners adore online games
and other activities concerning the Net. Moreover, we think that the teacher
conducting IT class should really know his materials, web pages, tools etc. so that
he is not laughed by the pupils. Also, worth mentioning are the applications for mobile phones encouraging the learners to use their phones for something different than just playing games, checking Facebook or chatting with their friends. Now they
can also learn English at school, legally using their phones during classes without
Piotr Smorczewski and Magdalena Słowik
Please check the Teaching Languages Using Technologies course at Pilgrims website.
Please check the Using Mobile Technology course at Pilgrims website.
Please check the Using Interactive Whiteboards course at Pilgrims website.