Techno Task: A Step Ahead in Learning and Teaching English as a Second Language at Elementary Level

Techno Task: A Step Ahead in Learning and Teaching English as a Second Language at Elementary Level

Beena Anil (SDNB Vaishnav College for Women, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3476-2.ch055
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Abstract

Language is all about words and meanings. Language is powerful when it is being used perfectly and relevantly. The more it is used, the better it is learnt. Today, learners want language to be learnt in a holistic and exciting way with a slice of life in it. Language is essential to communicate in our day to day in varied lively situations. Learning happens everywhere and anywhere as the language is embedded in all situations verbally and nonverbally. In this techno world, learners have an abundance of learning materials to improvise their language learning ability extensively. Teacher as a facilitator in the teaching milieu should sieve required tasks for her/his wards to make them comfortable to learn the language interestingly. She/he should select tasks those are embodied with the qualities of observation, analysis, and performance in every learner. The chapter focuses on the various essentialities of teaching and learning English as a second language through techno-tasks.
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Introduction

English as a second language is a widely used language across the world and especially in Asian countries. English language has a universal appeal to the second language learners. The aim of learning a second language is different from one country to another but commonly for the development of the economic status of such a country as well as its subjects. In this techno world, learning a language is just a click away but learning a second language in a classroom is mandatory in all second language using countries, especially in South Asian countries. It is mandatory because learners should be exposed to the learning supplementary for honing their learning ability by the teachers in the classroom. This chapter focuses on the availability of e-task resources to teach English as a second language.

Objectives of this chapter

  • To identify the use of techno tasks in learning and teaching English as a second language

  • To improve the four essential language skills of second language learners at all levels

  • To share suggestions on developing the skills of the SLL (Second Language Learners) through techno tasks.

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Background

Learning English is a necessary evil for many second language learners in South Asian countries because their future prospect is at stake if they are unable to communicate or understand English as a language. It is mandatory in all the south Asian countries to learn English from Class I to tertiary level even though medium of instruction is a regional or country language. The glamour surrounded around the language makes parents from all strata wanted to enroll their children in English teaching school. English learning is always a costly affair for many learners from rural background but technology helps them to overcome the fear of learning a second language with the help of the teacher at the initial stage. The growing popularity of the language ensures that the parents are striving to give their children English language knowledge and language skills (Song, 2011). The move to introduce English at the early education is the wide-spread belief that children find it easier to learn and English enables them to achieve greater overall proficiency (Nunan, 2003). Learning English at an early stage of primary schooling can be beneficial. When children learn the language it will help them to develop the intercultural awareness to build the global citizenship that aid them increasingly interconnect with planets (Read, 2003; Tinsley and Comfort,2012). Learners should be given exposure and teachers should update the knowledge in technology and introduce activities that can build and sustain motivation and positive attitudes among the learners. The activities with a more explicit focus on language analysis are better suited to older young learners (Agullo, 2006; Nikolor and Mihaljevic Djigunovic, 2006). In many situations, there is still a lack of teachers with the requisite pedagogic skills to cater to the needs of young learners. Teachers may struggle to adopt the more communicative approaches, advocated in work with young learners (Butler, 2005) and some may pursue teaching practices more suited for older learners, especially secondary school teachers who are compelled to work with young learners without adequate preparation in the classroom (Gahin and Myhill, 2001, Howard, 2012 cited in Emery 2012). The survey conducted by Emery (2012) suggests that many English teachers have had little substantial overall orientation to the skills and repertoire of classroom activities appropriate for teaching English for children. In the techno-era, teachers can use e-tasks and encourage learners to create autonomy learning environments that aid them to develop confidence and motivation after regular practice of various e-tasks.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Non-Native Speakers: Speakers whose source language or mother tongue is not English.

Phonemic Awareness: It is a division of phonological awareness in which learners can listen to sounds that can distinguish meanings. The word “bat” has three phonemes, /b/, /æ/ and /t/ and to separate the the word one requires phonemic awareness.

Elementary Level: This level of education at school is the compulsory education for children. This education happens at the prime time of students’ life and happens before entering secondary education.

Lateral Thinking: Thinking in a creative way and finding a solution for a problem in a new and unusual approach.

Morphemes: It is a grammatical unit in a language that has meaning on its own.

Second Language Learning: SLL is a process of learning a language other than the source language which is English.

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