Teachers' Perception of the Students' Foreign Language Learning and the Potential Role of ICT

Teachers' Perception of the Students' Foreign Language Learning and the Potential Role of ICT

María del Carmen Horno Chéliz (Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain) and Antonio Sarasa Cabezuelo (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/IJCBPL.2019040101

Abstract

This article focuses on the learning problems that arise in the teaching of second languages. Nowadays, the introduction of new technologies in this field has had a relevant effect by offering new possibilities that did not exist in the analogue era. However, many of the learning problems persist, and one of the causes identified is the change in learning styles. The use of new technologies has fostered an experimental learning style among students. This style is incompatible with traditional classes of theory and practice, in which an intellectual effort is required to understand the theory and then put into practice what has been learned. The present work starts from this reality and tries to provide possible improvements. For this, an analysis of the main problems encountered by the learners in the various linguistic acquisition components (lexicon, grammar and processes of comprehension and production, both oral and written) has been carried out. The method used was a questionnaire answered by 113 active language teachers. After the analysis of the answers received, a series of specific problems of the teaching-learning process was enumerated and different IT applications and ICT resources were searched that could solve or at least minimize them.
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1. Introduction

One of the most important objectives in the teaching of second languages is to ensure that students acquire the skills to face various communicative activities of production and comprehension, both orally and in writing (De Europa, 2012), of the language under study. To achieve this goal, the teacher uses different resources that will provide the student with a set of comprehension strategies (identification of keys and inferences) and production (planning, compensation, control and correction) useful to acquire different communication skills in the language of study (Larsen-Freeman, 2014). In the case of listening comprehension, you need to listen to sound learning resources in the language of study such as public statements, media, songs, lectures, private conversations, etc. In the case of reading comprehension, you need to read different types of text documents written in the language of study such as instructions, newspapers, magazines, opinion articles, literary texts.... In the field of audiovisual understanding, it is necessary to access multimedia resources such as television programs, fiction films, reports, etc. And finally, for the activities of expression, interaction or mediation, it is necessary to be able to try different production models (public presentations, oral monologues, written essays, etc.) (McLaughlin, 1989).

The teacher will have to use and adapt these resources to the different learning styles presented by the students (Fernández, 2007). The mentioned learning resources can be analog or digital according to the nature of the technology used to create them. The analogical case is characterized by the fact that production requires a physical manufacturing process and access to resources is limited (Godwin-Jones, 2010) since to use it requires the resource to be physically available (for example, if a reading book is needed then it will have to be bought or borrowed from a library). Some examples of analogue resources are (Palma, 2016): books with grammatical contents and exercises to exercise vocabulary and grammatical constructions, reading books in the study language adapted to different levels of skill, bilingual paper dictionaries, tapes or discs with sound recordings used for listening comprehension, videos to work on audiovisual comprehension (verbal and non-verbal language), vocabulary cards, etc. Digital resources are an equivalent electronic reproduction (Golonka, 2014) of resources and analog learning strategies (for example, physical dictionaries have given rise to online dictionaries). Its introduction in teaching has been varied (Chun, 2016). In some cases, digital resources have replaced analogue equivalents (Blake, 2009), and in other cases analogue resources have been maintained and used as a complementary tool (Blake, 2013). The impact of digitalization is materialized, among other aspects, in the possibility of accessing features that were not possible with physical means (Nomass, 2013) such as the availability of simple, rapid and universal access to resources or access to digital repositories with learning resources in different formats prepared specifically for the teaching of second languages (Levy, 2009).

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