Maximizing the Benefit of Technology for Language Learning
With the advent of the information age, technology has been used for an ever-increasing range of purposes in people’s everyday lives. Reflecting this trend, policymakers have devoted significant amounts of resources to promote the use of technology for teaching almost all school subjects. However, the impact of the use of technology on language learning is controversial. Some teachers and students may still prefer traditional language-teaching and -learning styles despite ready access to technology and requirements from authorities. Hence, it is people instead of physical facilities that allow the benefits of technology to actually materialize in language learning. This chapter investigates how technology can be utilized to its full potential for language-learning purposes and how to overcome obstructive factors related to current technology use. Several implications are considered. Firstly, it is important for teachers to ensure that technology use does not detract teaching from the learning objectives. Secondly, for language assessment, both technological and non-technological approaches may be useful depending on the desired outcome. Thirdly, subject-specific professional training in technology application should be highlighted as a priority for teacher education. Furthermore, professional training needs to address psychological factors, such as enhancing teachers’ self-concepts so that they feel confident in using a variety of technologies to promote students’ language learning. By promoting their interest, and the value they attach to using technologies, they would engage more in sustainable technology applications and self-initiated further professional learning in that respect.
KeywordsTechnology Motivation Language learning Teacher Teaching
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