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Combine Language Learning and Technology to Explode Your Teaching and Learning Success

Are you looking to boost your English language teaching or learning skills to yet ever higher levels? Would you like to stimulate more interest in your language classes or break out of a slump or plateau? Combine the use of a variety of language learning techniques with continually developing technology to spur your successes. Here are some useful ideas and web sites to get you started.

BLOGS

A Web Log or Blog, is not unlike a dairy you keep online. You can write instructions, an essay or post any type of information you want. Graphics and images can be included to illustrate the written material. Sound and audio-visual files can also be placed into a blog for added impact. A teacher can post a reading or assignment where students can comment right online. No papers, no clutter and you can view it almost any time. Blogs are becoming easier to use and access and many sites allow you to set one up for free.

ONLINE VIDEO / AUDIO

Most professionals have an e-mail address or two. Your e-mail can now become a communicative tool between you and the learners. E-mail can now also include the use of images and sound or audio-visual clips, as well as the message text. Learners can send in assignments as attachments or pasted into the body of the e-mail. They can ask questions and receive timely feedback without waiting for the next class session. Teachers can send out instructions, updates or other information to learners individually, or as a group also without having to wait for the next scheduled class session.

No computer? No problem. In many parts of the world e-cafes are so cheap they’re actually a viable alternative that students can easily afford. Whole “communities” of young learners are based on hangouts at e-cafes in some cultures. Talk to your students about it. You might be surprised.

USE OF ONLINE RESOURCES for TEACHING / LEARNING

The use of online games, EFL practice sites student and teacher forums, communities and activities has exploded in recent months in many parts of the world. Virtual communities and online reference libraries now enable learners to problem-solve, research a paper or to more quickly complete assignments that formerly would have taken disproportionately large amounts of time to complete. For example, a few sites worth mentioning include:

o http://www.books.google.com/

A web site which offers free access to books that can be read on-screen

o http://www.universia.net.co

This is a site which has a lengthy listing of virtual libraries in almost any genre and connects more than 900 mostly Spanish language libraries

o http://www.redclara.net

This site interconnects an advanced academic network of Latin American libraries

o http://www.lablaa.org

This site allows you access and read a large number of its collected works online and contains exposition pages

o The official Project Gutenburg web site contains an extensive listing of literary works in English which have entered the Public Domain. It’s online at: [http://promo.net/pg/]

Try some of these useful ideas and web sites to get you started in combining the use of a variety of language learning techniques with continually developing technology to explode your English language teaching and learning successes. If you need to know more about using these or other new technologies to boost student interest and motivation making your English language teaching more effective, feel free to e-mail me at the address below with questions or comments.