Technology in Foreign Language
Why switch from foreign to world language?
In this website we will refer to what was commonly refer to Foreign Language as World Language.Foreign Language is a commonly recognized title for our subject area, but it has always been problematic. Foreign has a connotation of “alien”. The switch to “world” emphasizes that languages connect us rather than keep us separated, that languages help us understand the world and participate in multilingual communities. Many people use within the US use in their home or community the languages that are being taught in our schools, so there is nothing foreign about it. At the beginning of the third millennium, we want to emphasize helping students make other languages their own.
Technology is a tool
Sometimes the technology resources that world language teachers have at their disposal seem more like a magic carpet or a magic wand, capable of transforming teaching and curriculum in ways that would have unimaginable a decade ago. But technology is a just a tool: the skilled teacher, like the skilled craftsman, matches the tool to the task in order to accomplish an important purpose. At the same time as we consider our own uses of technology, we need to focus on our students and their need to use technology effectively. Technology, especially the Internet, can provide access to authentic sources of language that are simply unavailable any other way. When we integrate technology meaningfully, we are supporting them in the development of two essential tools for lifelong learning: skill in the use of another language and the ability to make discerning and effective use of technological tools.
10 reasons for using technology in World Language Teaching
10 important reasons to teachers to include various aspects of technology in Foreign Language teaching:
1- Students are generally technology –literate and have become accustomed to using computers, videos, and other technology- based means of acquiring information.
2- Students learn at different rates and have different learning styles. The use of technology helps teachers reach all students in different ways.
3-technology helps to relate the curriculum to life outside the classroom.
4-technology helps to involve students in worthwhile, interactional activities, such as interpersonal exchanges, information gathering, and problem-solving projects.
5- technology helps students to be active participants in the Information Age
6-Using different aspects of technology helps motivate students to learn.
7- technology adds many dimensions of foreign language learning, particularly with the use of multimedia programs.
8-technology helps to make the study of foreign languages very practical and significant in children’s lives. If students can communicate readily through e-mail with children in a foreign country, it is unlikely that the teacher will hear them say “but I will never have a chance to really use….(any language)”
9- Students have the opportunity to work collaborative manner.
10-technology gives students opportunities to use their productive and receptive abilities for real purposes, such as publishing a newsletter or writing interactive journals.
When is it effective to use technology in the World Language classroom
World Language teacher should opt to use technology when it:
Is appropriate for the lesson
Builds students’ World Language learning
Provides authentic aspects of culture
Demonstrate authentic cultural realia and documents
Is consistent with national World Language Standards
Offers a better format of instruction
Gives students opportunities to interact with each other and the program.
Gives the teacher a chance to observe students’ reactions and performance.
Appeals to different students’ learning styles and intelligences.
Is user-friendly for the teacher and the students.
Standards for Foreign Language Learning
Extracted from ACTFL website
Communication: Communicate in Languages Other Than English
Cultures: Gain Knowledge and Understanding of Other Cultures
Connections: Connect with Other Disciplines and Acquire Information
Comparisons: Develop Insight into the Nature of Language and Culture
Communities: Participate in Multilingual Communities at Home & Around the World
Since their publication, national and state standards have had a powerful impact on the teaching profession, creating a new vision for learning languages. The major shift is to look at language learning not as an abstract study of vocabulary, grammar and linguistics, but as a useful tool to meet the demands of contemporary life. Standards give us the purposes for learning languages and direct our teaching toward those purposes. The standards show that communication has natural connections to cultural awareness and understanding, other academic disciplines, and the world in which we live. And technology is a powerful tool towards meeting those standards.
National Educational Technology Standards for teachers and students
These standards can help teachers to plan technology components for their lessons to give students experiences with language and cultures that would be unavailable in any other way. As students become more proficient with the technology tools at their disposal, they can be more independent language learners, pursue their own interests and needs using the target language, and develop skills that will be useful in all dimensions of their education. Technology can bring the cultures, connections, and comparisons goals to life, even as they allow students to use their communication skills to participate in a wider community of speakers of the language as they are learning.
ACTFL performance guidelines
ACTFL performance guidelines for Speaking
SUPERIOR to NOVICE LOW
ACTFL performance guidelines for Writing
SUPERIOR to NOVICE LOW
Effective Uses and Examples
Depending on the ages, language experience of the students and technology resources of the school, many of the following possibilities can enhance learning in a thematic unit:
- Create a menu using a word processing program.
- Create a greeting card in the target language using clipart with a cultural element.
- Students use scanned or digital photos to design a poster with which to introduce themselves to the class.
- Create a story, an episode from a story, or a poem to illustrate with clip art. All projects are printed and compiled into a class book.
- Develop a book report by creating a book jacket that includes a front cover designed to reflect the content, flaps to summarize the story, and information about the author on the back cover.
- Create a class newspaper or newsletter.
- Create a brochure about a city or a country in which the target language is spoken. Information can come from research from the Internet, and be enhanced with images downloaded from the Web.
- Create an advertisement for a culturally significant product, using scanned or clip-art images to illustrate the text.
- Develop a “picture dictionary” of words (or phrases) in the target language, using clip art or scanned images to illustrate meanings rather than translations into English.
- After researching a famous person from the target language, using a variety of resources, create a poster or a “Who am I?” poster for other students to guess.
- Use interactive story books in CD-ROMs, other CDs give students vocabulary practice or listening.
- Students create a PowerPoint or HyperStudio presentation about themselves or any other topic, using learned vocabulary and following a format provided by the teacher. The students illustrate the presentation with scanned photos and clipart.
Using technology to enhance teacher productivity
- Create their own roll/record/plan books according to teachers’ needs.
- Create visuals for games and flashcards with clipart.
- Include authentic pictures in visuals and materials. It is a great way to provide authentic culture in games, books and so forth.
- Produce e-newsletters to parents.
- Create e-games, many games can easily be converted into an electronic format by using links in PowerPoint. This allows students to take turns as they usually do but also manipulate the mouse and click (students NETS)
- Matching games, multiple choice games, jeopardy-type games, and question-and-answer games can all be done with PowerPoint slides and links.
Using the resources of the Internet
The Internet has expanded the resources available to language teachers and learners to an almost incredible degree. Teachers and students alike can access information about countries where the target language is spoken and learn from and about the people who speak the language. Internet technology gives immediacy and context to World language Learning. The thoughtful applications of Internet technology to world language instruction can be beneficial in many ways:
Opportunities for interaction
Basic uses such as e-mail exchanges and web logging, as well as more sophisticated applications such as videoconferencing, can provide students with extended, in-depth interactions with native speakers of the languages there are learning. Internet provides the opportunity for authentic communication. Having a relationship from person from Argentina is different than just learning from a book.
Language Learning in Context
Access to a multitude of World Language websites, ranging from news to entertainment and culture, gives students a close look at the “real world” applications of the language they are learning. Rather than simply following exercises in a book that may have been published many years ago, students are learning the language in a landscape of up-to-date events and cultural happenings, for example: students can compare front-page headlines in newspapers in US with the ones in Spain, or even tv commercials on can drinks from different part of the world (just to add variety).
Increasing student interest
It is a very good way to captivate students’ interest. Students are able to search for information and pursue their own individual interests and hobbies by finding target-material online.
Web Resources For World Language Instruction
Language teachers Resources
French Language Resources
- Francophilia - http://www.francophilia.com/
- Franceworld - http://www.franceworld.com/fw3/
- French Department of Education - http://www.education.gouv.fr/
Current Events Resources
Newspaper from Argentina:
Newspapper from Spain:
Listservers and Archives
- Coffee Break Spanish has free weekly podcasted lessons
- Praxis Language, based in Shanghai, offers free lessons in Mandarin Chinese http://www.ChinesePod.com or Spanish http://www.SpanishPod.com as podcasts.
- LiveMocha is a free site where members can tackle 160 hours of beginning or intermediate lessons in French, German, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Hindi or English. There is no charge for tutoring; instead, members tutor one another, drawing on their expertise in their own native language
Electronic Mail: Key Pals
Electronic mail is perhaps the most accessible of all Internet tools. Electronic pen pals, or key pals, can provide a motivating and effective opportunity for students to interact with native speakers or other learners of the target language. A key pals project gives meaningful experience with written communication in the interpersonal mode for learner who already have language skills, keyboard skills, and sufficient computer experience. There are also important personal benefits, especially for the middle school student. E-mail offers the possibility to tell someone their own age in another land about themselves, to ask questions. Any key pals project requires careful preparation and organization. The first step is finding a partner class in which the students are approximately the same age, at the same level of language study, and about the same number of students. The language teacher should work carefully with the partner teacher to make sure that they have agreed upon:
1. who writes to whom
2. content of the letters
3. Corrections- how many?
4. number of letters
5. time line
7. use of other media
8. what teachers want to achieve by the end of the process
The next step is preparing the students. The teacher must be sure that the students have both the language skills and the technical skills to participate in the project. At the beginning of the project, it is useful to brainstorm with the class what they already know about the country or area of their partner class and what they would like to learn. These lists can be used during the project to focus the content of the messages and to help students assess what they have learned when the project is completed. The teacher will need to supply students with appropriate phrases for salutations and endings, as well as for other recurring functions of letters and e-mail etiquette (“Nettiquette”). Students will need to see sample letters.
Definitions A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented activity in which some or all of the information that learners interact with comes from resources on the internet, optionally supplemented with videoconferencing. There are at least two levels of WebQuests that should be distinguished from one another.
Short Term WebQuests The instructional goal of a short term WebQuest is knowledge acquisition and integration, described as Dimension 2 in Marzano's (1992) Dimensions of Thinking model. At the end of a short term WebQuest, a learner will have grappled with a significant amount of new information and made sense of it. A short-term WebQuest is designed to be completed in one to three class periods.
Longer Term WebQuest The instructional goal of a longer term WebQuest is what Marzano calls Dimension 3: extending and refining knowledge. After completing a longer term WebQuest, a learner would have analyzed a body of knowledge deeply, transformed it in some way, and demonstrated an understanding of the material by creating something that others can respond to, on-line or off-. A longer term WebQuest will typically take between one week and a month in a classroom setting.
Using technology to enhance learning and instruction through each of the 5C’s
Via technology, students have the opportunity to engage in interpersonal communication with native speakers through E-mail exchanges, real-time”chats”, videoconferencing, or video exchanges. Classes of language learners within the same country could be connected by E-mail to exchange information about their schools and towns, using comparable level of proficiency in the world language to fill an information gap. Using the computer to communicate can provide a means of written conversation, in which short E-mail messages are exchanged, rather than letters. A class may set up a website through which they can communicate with each other or their teacher in the target language. Messages or homework questions can be posted and answered. Although information is read and therefore also interpretive communication, the nature of the discourse is conversational, with the emphasis more on the message being communicated and the negotiation of meaning.
The vast amount of written information on the World Wide Web provides a wealth of content for interpretive reading experiences. News, weather, ads, song lyrics, virtual tours of cities or museums, comics, fan letters, historical documents, classical and popular literature, and correspondence are examples that represent only a small portion of accessible text. The graphic organization and rich use of accompanying photos and illustrations make the text on websites more comprehensible to language learners at even beginning level. The diverse nature of the written information provides the opportunity for students to employ varying reading skills, such as reading for detail, skimming, scanning, deriving meaning from context, and evaluating material for authenticity. Teachers have access to authentic material that was previously only attainable through travel or personal connections to the target country. The level of sophistication and type of written material can be adapted to the students’ level of proficiency and to the instructional goal. For example: advanced students can read a movie review, while beginning students could read movie theater ads to find opening and closing times, viewing age restrictions, or titles of movies they recognize.
Students can use technology tools to create or compose presentations to demonstrate their performance of the learning goals. Using word processing to write in the target language enables students to edit and rewrite easily, encouraging them to incorporate the corrections and the revisions made through peer and teacher editing into a final manuscript, representative of their best efforts. Just as these writing tools are commonly used in one’s first language, students should learn how to use these tools in their second and third languages. In presentational mode, accuracy takes on added importance, because meaning cannot be negotiated. Technology can help students polish their writing, appropriate in the presentational mode. Students can demonstrate their skill in the presentational mode through video and audio productions, PowerPoint presentations, production of websites, use of digital camera photographs or scanned images in presentation documents or displays, or through numerous other types of technology-enhanced performance tasks.
The standard of Culture is the background in which we must embed the Communication standards. Technology can certainly enhance the student’s ability to develop an awareness of another people’s way of life. Viewing video presentations that depict traditional ideas and attitudes and how they influence behavior provides communication models for students. They develop observational skills by watching native speakers interact with each other. They can see links between communication and culture, like the use of gestures, personal space, and register that would be missed in written text or audiotapes. Videoconferencing, video streaming, and other audio and video technologies that link classrooms can provide face-to-face interaction. This connection will open the door to learning about the culture through direct interaction native speakers. The variety and ever-changing nature of Internet resources provide a multifaceted picture of the target culture, thus avoiding narrow cultural definitions that often reinforce stereotypes. Internet resources provide invaluable information in understanding the diversity of the target language, an aspect often left untouched in the traditional classroom due to lack of time or the instructor’s incomplete knowledge, training or experience.
Using the Internet for research in other classes opens the door to an entire world of information for students. A student who is researching the nutritional food pyramid for science class, could access the same information from another country to determine similarities and differences. Knowledge of the language and culture provides keys to interpreting the pyramid and finding reasons for the differences.
Communicating with individuals in the target language or reading information from authentic sites enables the students to compare both the language and the culture of other countries. In an E-mail exchange with key pals in the target language, students naturally refer to aspects of their school and personal lives, such as study hall and homeroom. A Spanish partner may refer to going to the bar or going to the disco, which is much different than an American student’s image of Disco or Bar. When an e-mail partner does not understand the culturally specific terms and needs clarification, students are called upon to reexamine cultural and linguistic phenomena through the perspective of another culture.
Through email partnerships, internet connection, or other communications with the target language, students are employing the standard of Communities, reaching out to multilingual communities at home and abroad. Students’ productions can be shared with other classes, other schools, parents, community groups or interschool competitions. This Communities Standard is achieved trough the very use of technology as a tool for language learning and for connecting to speakers of other languages.
Issues and Problems in Integrating Technology
Employing technology: implications for teachers
The teacher must make the decision to incorporate technology based on the most effective way of teaching the instructional goal. The crucial question is whether the goal justifies the class time spent in activities that do not address the primary goal of communication.
Teacher and student roles in the classroom and how the use of technology affects them:
Incorporating technology tools into instructions can dramatically change the traditional roles of the teacher and the student in the classroom. Software programs can provide a means of differentiate and individualize instruction, allowing students to progress at different rates, to pursue varied interests, and to gain practice in different areas of language learning. When the technology is being employed as a means to achieve a well-defined performance task, it is possible for students to pursue different paths to the learning goal. The teacher functions as a facilitator and as a guide, or a as a partner in the pursuit of learning. When the student is able to share technological knowledge and skill from which the teacher learns, the teacher models the qualities of a lifelong learner.
Use of translation programs
Translation programs are readily available through the internet. Text can be copied and automatically translated on the screen. Presently results are limited to word-word translations, which can be embarrassing, culturally inappropriate, or inaccurate. The programs and their easy availability can be problematic for teachers. Pointing out the limitations of the translation programs to students effectively, demonstrates to them the importance of understanding the culture of target country to be able to communicate effectively.
great software for middle schoolers, interactive, students need headphones
great software for elementary school students created by National Geographic
Assessment on the Wiki Chapter
1. Name 3 possible ways of integrating technology into teaching Foreign Language.
2. Could you name 3 ways to link the National Foreign Language Standards with technology?
3. What is "Nettiquette"? When would you use it or teach it?
4. Why is using the Internet such a key element of Foreign Language Teaching?
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