How has technology influenced the teaching and learning English BY chokecherry There is a widespread agreement that technology now plays a more important role in our society. Its influences can be easily seen in every field of our daily life including medicine, education, construction and so on. In terms of education, technological advances have revolutionized the teaching and learning foreign languages, specifically, English. They now provide a wealth of materials and resources, innovate the method of teaching and learning English and lead to the appearance of e- learning.
First, today’s technology has provided teachers as well as students of English more choices of materials than in the past, when “technology” was still an unfamiliar term to the majority of Vietnamese society. As materials for teaching and learning English then were very limited, students mainly learnt through books and handouts given by their teachers. This limitation did hinder students a lot in their efforts to self-study more. Now, however, thanks to innovations like the Internet, the situation has vastly improved. The Internet, with a huge number of websites it provides, has become an indispensable resource for English study.
Because the majority of these websites are in English, Just by surfing them, students of the language can greatly build up their vocabularies. Also, there are many websites that have been established Just for the promotion of English, to which teachers can access to download materials for their own lectures. Meanwhile, students can also use these websites for self-studying purposes. In general, technology, and especially the Internet has become so essential a source of materials that without it, the teaching and study of English would be much more difficult.
Secondly, technological advances have also led to an innovation in the method of caching and learning English. This can be easily seen through a simple comparison between language teaching in the past and that at present. Previously, teaching was carried out with the aid of only a blackboard, some pieces of chalk, and books. With such limitations, teaching normally meant the teachers imparted the knowledge from the books to their students by writing down some special structures or new words on the blackboard.
The students would then take notes of these structures and then learn them by rote afterwards. Nowadays, the method of teaching and learning has been modernized with such aids as overheads, computers and projectors. Teachers no longer merely read out loud for the students to take notes. Instead, they can make their lectures more vivid and memorable by using slide shows. For example, in a graphic descriptive lesson, with slides of different types of graphs, it is only necessary to include some introductory sentences to be useful to students.
Students can also take advantage of these aids to give presentations more effectively. Overall, thanks to technological innovations, teaching and learning English is now more enjoyable and more effective. Another important advantage that technology brings to the field of teaching and earning English is the appearance of e-learning, which is the distance education system based on the telecommunications especially the Internet. In an e-learning course, both teaching and learning activities happen in a virtual classroom in a certain website.
Thus, with an Internet-connected computer and an account to the website, a student in Vietnam can to attend an English course provided by such famous universities as Harvard University or University of Cambridge. In spite of no face-to-face meetings between students and teachers, contacts are still made via emails or forums. Besides a chance to speak to native English speakers, students asking an e-learning course also have a good opportunity to talk to students around the world who also take that course.
With such advantages, the command of English of these e-learning students will soon be improved. The development of technology has brought about many advantages to the field of teaching and learning English including providing a wide range of materials, innovating the English instruction and resulting in the appearance of e-learning. Therefore, if these innovations are made full use of, they will not only enable teachers to teach better but also encourage students to learn more effectively.