Wright, V and White, S
Technology and Language Learning.
Arthur, L and Hurd, S (eds.)
in Supporting Lifelong Language Learning; theoretical and practical approaches.
Full text not available from this repository.
Language teachers over the centuries have all relied on some sort of tool to aid and enhance the teaching/learning process. We have used stick and sand, quill and ink, chalk and slate, the printed word and picture, the blackboard and the whiteboard, the flannelgraph and the flashcard along with the various pieces of 'realia' which bring an authentic feel to the classroom. However, it has been the 'machines' of the last few decades, which have had the greatest impact on teaching practices. Radio and television (terrestrial, satellite and now digital) along with the photocopier, the overhead projector, the audiocassette and the video player have all revolutionised what is possible both inside and outside the classroom. But it is the networked personal computer integrating all that has gone before it in a single digital environment - with text, graphics audio and video - which promises the biggest impact of all. Its advent even raises the question of whether an interactive language machine of the future which responds to what we say and translates automatically from one language to another can replace the language teacher, and, whether we will ever again need to learn more than one language (Atwell, 1999). The 'one stop shop' is set to be the technology of the future - the fridge or the microwave will 'intelligently' order the shopping when food items run low or heat a meal before the householder returns home - the PC or TV will be multifunctional. But if we as teachers are to cater for a wide range of needs, interests and learning styles and for a range of budgets, there needs to be some consideration of appropriate technologies for the learning context. This section will review some of the language learning technologies currently being used, outlining practical issues and describing some of the more innovative approaches to their use.
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