technology has become more and more important in the last years, especially in language teaching and learning. Nowadays you can learn a foreign language using the Internet, in virtual worlds like Second Life, with the use of computer software and visual aids, watching videos on TV or on the web, etc. Language teaching has also changed a lot: in many schools and universities you can use computers in class, you can upload material in e-learning platforms like Moodle or Ilias, you can set up interactive activities or tests online or even teach directly online using special software.
In our university we use a lot of new technologies and now, thanks to our great e-learning team, we can develop projects and use our e-learning platform much more easily. The new team helps us by training and giving advice to staff and students, by uploading material or enter data, by developing new projects and implementing new ideas, etc.
One of the big advantages of e-learning is of course to save money and time but the main benefit for learners is to find new and easier ways to study and understand language structures and usage. Through the use of visual aids and computers they can learn better and more quickly and they can use e-learning platforms to download and upload material which is then available for them online from any computer connected to the Internet. Moreover, through the use of the web students can get to know native speakers from different countries and start a language exchange.
Of course, you have to be careful not to exaggerate and always make some use of the traditional pen and paper method, especially at lower levels. For example, it is very important for students to learn to write new words correctly and that can be done best using the traditional paper booklet. Furthermore, it’s not very healthy to spend hours and hours in front of a screen, so you should always remember to take a break or just turn off the computer or the TV at some point and turn on the stereo to listen to some recording or the radio or open your paper booklet and do some writing.
Well, that’s all for now about e-learning.
Stay tuned for more.