Technology in the Foreign Language Classroom

Technology in the Foreign Language Classroom

William J. Switala (Duquesne University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-553-5.ch489
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America is a country made up of people from all corners of the globe. Although this is the case, few Americans can communicate in a language other than English. The major reason for this is that Americans do not study foreign languages to any great extent in school, and those who do, have not developed a facility to speak the language they have studied. The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages found, in its survey entitled “Foreign Language Enrollments in U.S. Public High Schools, 1890-2000,” that there was a steady decline in the numbers of students studying foreign languages from 1976 to 1994. From 1995 to 2000 this trend was reversed and the number of students learning new languages in the year 2000 almost matched that of the enrollment for 1974. However, this still only accounted for 42.5% of the total number of students attending American high schools (ACTFL, 2004). A possible explanation for this low number may rest in the methodology used to teach foreign languages in our schools. (Brecht, 2002).

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