The usage of technology in the teaching of foreign languages is not new. Videotape recorders, language laboratories and videos were widely used in the practice of English language teaching since the 1960s. In the early 1980's the practice of teaching a foreign language through computer technologies and materials began to be applied; Soon these methods were attributed to recommended, and then to mandatory methods of teaching foreign languages. In 1990 the widespread access to information and communication technologies and the use of computer technology in the practice of teaching foreign languages has turned to access of the Internet and network tools. Rapid development of the Internet in the 1990s has a wide impact on the learning and acquisition of knowledge by students in the aspect of learning foreign languages. From this moment the Internet becomes an extraordinary source of information in the practice of teaching foreign languages.
This article attempts to highlight the main advantages of using the Internet and modern computer technologies in the practice of teaching foreign languages.
The use of the Internet in teaching foreign languages. Involved in the practice of teaching foreign languages teachers can get any kind of information from the Internet. The Internet also provides an answer to almost any question. Most teachers believe that they can benefit a lot from using Internet resources. The Internet is used as a way of obtaining information, restoring knowledge or sharing experiences with other teachers from other countries. With the help of the Internet, teachers' qualification improvement, all kinds of testing and certification are available, confirming the level of language skills and mastery of the teacher. Sheerer and Malone offered five main reasons to use the Internet for teaching foreign (English) language. The reasons are as follows:
4) factor of living language;
Scientists believe that the Internet provides not too expensive method of learning a foreign language that meets the need of students in the XXI century. The Internet provides an opportunity for students of a foreign language to interact with the speakers of the studied language up to 24 hours a day, thereby introducing the student into a permanent active process of learning a foreign language, and also allowing him to choose the time and place of instruction. In addition, Whittaker determined several possible reasons for using the Internet in teaching foreign languages. One explanation was found in the assertion that the linguistic nature of online communication is desirable for promoting language learning. Another possible reason for using the Internet in teaching foreign languages is that network resources create optimal conditions for learning writing, as they are a genuine audience for written communication. The third possible reason is that online communication multiplies the motivation of students many times. The fourth possible reason is the confidence of Internet users that mastering computer skills is important for the future successful functioning of the student in the process of Internet communication. This involves not using the Internet to learn a foreign language, but, on the contrary, the motivation to learn a foreign language for the subsequent good orientation of the learner on the Internet.
So, both sides of the process of learning a foreign language — a teacher and a student — are interested in applying Internet technologies in the process of learning.
The advantages of using online resources for teachers:
Some scientists say that the Internet is one of the factors that has a significant contribution to promoting the use of computers for language learning. The increase of computer-based communication through the Internet has changed more than anything else, the use of computers in learning of foreign languages is raised rapidly at the end of the 20th century. With the advent of the Internet and the computer — both in society and in the audience transformed from a tool for processing information and display to a tool for processing information and communication. For the first time, foreign language learners can now communicate inexpensively and quickly with other students or speakers of the studied language throughout the world. In addition, Dundee also mentioned one of the advantages of using computers and the Internet in the practice of teaching and learning languages especially for teachers. He mentioned that, in essence, the computer and live language communication have now become a common resource, always available to the target audience on the board. Teachers and students can use the board to show the contents of the CD-ROM and the Internet, and this content can be annotated, illustrated, saved and printed. In most situations, this content can be used as a special resource.
Therefore, among the various advantages, the first and main advantage is the provision of the teacher with a large number of training resources via the Internet. It is through the Internet that teachers can easily obtain various materials for teaching students. Some of the major sources of materials are sites, such as One Stop English, which has a huge database of materials and lesson plans for regular use, and the BBC also has many resources on its teaching English platform.
The following are some of the media and databases provided on the Internet.
- News Department for Students, Parents and Teachers
For students: new resumes, quizzes, fresh news, science news and crosswords.
For teachers: daily educational news about partner programs, news, lesson plan archives, and a forum with fellow teachers on educational portals and websites.
- Online news: including news from Africa, America, Asia, Europe, Oceania and other international fields.
International Service of the BBC, Radio CBC
- Bamboo: an overview of English language education and applied research of Linguistics from Asia
- CELIA: computer extended language archives and instructions
- The Center for Educational Resources
- Internet Cinema Database
The next advantage of using the Internet as a means of teaching a foreign language is the opportunity to improve one's own knowledge, skills in a foreign language directly for the teacher.
Here are some professional magazines, which are presented online version on the Internet.
- TESL-EJ — focuses on the theory and practice of teaching languages.
- The Internet Journal of TESL, which includes short, practical articles.
- Language, Student & Technology is a research journal for the teachers of the second foreign language.
- CALL-EJ online — covers the machine language.
- Kairos — a magazine about computer writing.
The third advantage of using the Internet in the practice of teaching English is the opportunity for a foreign language teacher to come into contact with colleagues from other countries, develop skills of writing and speaking, exchange experiences and information with teachers of other educational institutions.
Teachers can also join international organizations in order to maintain close professional contacts with colleagues from other countries, to be aware of the emergence of new educational technologies, and to improve in terms of methodology. Sheerer and Malone identify some international professional organizations that have their own websites. Below is a list of these organizations.
- International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language
- Japanese Association for Teaching Languages
- Association of International Educators
- National Council of English Teachers
- American Association of Applied Linguistics
- Linguistic Society of America
Finally, through the Internet, teachers can obtain information related to the publication of materials on the teaching of foreign languages. Many publishers, such as Longman or the Oxford University Press, often publish catalogs of their publications on websites.
- Davis G. ICT and Modern Foreign Languages: Learning Opportunities and Training Needs // International Journal of English Studies. — 2002. — Удаленный доступ: http://www.scilt.stir.ac.uk/SLR/index.htm
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- Fliss B. The Language of Email. 2003. — Удаленный доступ: http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~cpercy/courses/6362Flis2.htm
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