The Role and Implementation of New Technologies in the ELT (English Language Teaching)

The Role and Implementation of New Technologies in the ELT (English Language Teaching)

Jekaterina Srebnaja (Riga Purvciems Secondary School, Latvia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9618-9.ch005
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Emerging technologies have become a part of daily life of each student. To keep up with time, education has to evolve and customize providing the learner with a more meaningful learning environment. More and more teachers are introducing Learning Technologies (LT) for training purposes since they can serve as powerful tools for efficient student participatory learning. The technology-aided learning environment enhances learning outcomes in language acquisition and stimulates the implementation of quality learning. The aim of this research is to emphasize the importance of applications of learning technologies in the language classroom and to present an overview of the practical tools available for technology-mediated language learning, their effective ICT implementation and use. The study analyzes the strategies and techniques for the ICT integration by means of introducing the Computer Language Lab (CLL) in the Secondary School Setting. It describes personal experience and best practice in the use of learning technologies with secondary school students.
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The main tendencies of the development of modern society connected with processes of globalization and computerization find direct reflection in the educational process. The use of ICT opens new opportunities for the educational environment. “ICT is a means of accessing, storing, sharing, processing, editing, selecting, presenting and communicating information through a variety of media” (Cohen, Manion, Morrison & Wyse, 2010. pp. 53-60). The variety of teaching Internet resources and software for the educational purposes became more feasible for classroom use. These global changes generated the need for the development of specially organized work with information and new teaching approaches. Educators are determined to integrate innovative approaches and teaching methods to educational content. Discussions on what foreign language teaching in modern school will look like are still ongoing. However, there is no doubt that the changes are inevitable. The benefits of integration of ICT into foreign language teaching are obvious. The reasons for this are complex and relate to a number of factors, such as definite requirements for the realization of specific educational objectives, the peculiarities of the modern student and certainly, technological developments in the modern era. According to Cohen, Manion, Morrison and Wyse, the rapid development of the information society implies broad application of Information and Communication Technology in the education setting, involving a set of assets. ICT-mediated instruction (2010, pp. 53-60):

  • Improves student performance in all subjects and for all students;

  • Is learner-centered;

  • Ties educational standards and higher-order thinking to real-world contexts;

  • Promotes critical thinking and problem-solving;

  • Fosters collaborative and self-directed learning;

  • Raises students’ motivation and engagement significantly.

Hence, learning technologies (LT) support learning and improve the effectiveness and productivity of the teaching process. Learning or educational technology involves any form of teaching and learning that makes use of technology. Hewer and Rist define Learning Technology as “the application of technology for the enhancement of teaching, learning and assessment” (1996, p. 3). It is based on theoretical and practical knowledge and aims at facilitating the learning process and improving the education. Therefore, the present research aims to study the efficiency of the use of ICTs in teaching English as a Second Language to Secondary School students both in theory and practice. As the research method, the article reports a case study of the use of ICT applying the web-based projects teaching model with the group of secondary school students.


What Are Learning Technologies?

At the outset, it is fundamental to outline what do the learning technologies implicate.

Learning Technologies imply ample spectrum of communication, information and relevant technologies that can be used to support learning process. These are as follows:

  • CALL (Computer Aided Language Learning) software;

  • Office applications (Word, Power Point, etc.);

  • Web pages;

  • The Internet;

  • CD-ROMs that come with course books;

  • Interactive whiteboards, LCD projectors;

  • Platforms, new software and hardware;

  • DVD Players;

  • Multimedia integration;

  • Mobile phones, tablets;

  • Web board.

Generally, learning technologies are practically any electronic device that aids learning. It involves designing, applying and improving the learning-teaching process in compliance with the main functions of the LT.

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