Sanako is a Finnish Educational Tech company helping schools and language teachers to improve language teaching efficiency and results.
Technology is having a growing impact on language learning worldwide. The landscape of language teaching and language learning has transformed so rapidly that the formal classroom does not serve as the primary learning site anymore. Mohammad Reza Ahmadi (2018) argued that electronic teaching programs appeal greatly to language instructors due to their contribution to enhancing students’ active engagement with teachers and maximizing positive language learning outcomes. The use of technology has become an important part of the learning process in and out of class and is viewed as the core requirement in schools.
Modern technology includes but is not limited to language labs, computerization, multimedia devices, mobile phones, audio/visual effects applications, EdTech solutions, and social media which can facilitate faster and more comprehensive language progression. For example, the application of multimedia content in class could integrate print texts, video, learning games, and the internet to familiarize students with language vocabulary and structure.
How technology-driven language teaching supports teachers (Richards, 2015)?
1. Create a better learning environment
In a technology-driven learning environment, flexible classroom spaces where connected devices, audiovisual tools, and purposeful furniture are integrated facilitate positive engagement of students and the mix of independent, small-group, and whole-class learning that is now viewed as essential to student success (EdTech staff, 2018).
2. Increase the possibility of a much wider range of strategies in teaching
Compared with traditional teaching methods that could make students passive and bored, current language teaching strategies primarily utilize multimedia, social media, various available resources, and educational games giving students opportunities to meaningfully increase their exposure to language and thus make their own knowledge.
3. Connect the classroom with the real world
Technology in the classroom such as videos, images, and software solutions empower teachers to incorporate the larger real world into the classroom. Turning the theories into practical experiences motivates students to practice and be deeply immersed in language learning.
How technology in language learning supports students?
1. Wider exposure to the language
Technology increases the students’ opportunity for authentic interaction with native speakers and other language learners at various levels within or outside the classroom. Practice leads to perfection and technology-rich language learning makes it possible.
2. Higher motivation and attention
Transforming from passive recipients to active learners, students might feel very excited about language learning and are motivated to practice more, using devices with which they can practice a language through features such as voice recognition and interactive multimedia exercises, etc.
3. Flexible learning
Much more freedom is given to students within the classroom to decide how they approach the language and choose when and where to learn outside the classroom. Self-decision making and individual responsibility-taking stimulate more profound and enriching linguistic immersion.
Examples of how software solutions improve teaching efficiency and effectiveness in core language skills
Pronunciation and speaking skills
Learning how to pronounce is a key starting point of language learning. Displaying video clips for students could provide detailed guidelines (with pictures) that show how to move their tongue and jaw in the right way to produce a certain sound. Speech recognition technology will help students correctly pronounce common words and phrases and they will receive targeted feedback and scoring to get the sounds just right.
Apart from allowing the individual practice, software solutions can group students in pairs for spoken interaction and make communication more productive. Hence, teachers can manage language class more effectively and allow students to invest more time into speaking and activity learning.
Teachers can launch a wide range of graded listening resources specifically designed for L2 learners to improve listening skills. A number of available websites and authentic listening materials such as TED talks and news broadcasts could be utilized based on what students already learned and their interests. Every learner can have a truly personalized experience even if they are learning the same topic.
Reading comprehension requires the mastery of fundamentals, language, and higher-level thinking skills. Teachers could select available materials, from those for vocabulary building to those for test preparation, so as to improve students’ reading comprehension step by step. Software solutions keep track of students’ progress which improves their awareness of their weaknesses and strengths and, thus, provides tailored reading texts for boosting specific skills.
Language learning software could function to brainstorm and visualize students’ ideas, organize their information sequentially, and more. Spell-checking tools automatically check everything students type, making it easy to spot and fix errors quickly. Blogs enable students to create more expressive personal writing or to peer review when revising shared drafts of written work. All available software solutions can be effectively employed to progress students’ writing skills.
Here's a more detailed article on how Sanako's software tools support students to development their core language skills.
If you’d like to find out more about how Sanako’s language teaching products could transform your institution's language teaching and learning programs, please contact us now to arrange your FREE demo!
References used in this article:
Alqahtani A. (2019). The use of technology in English language teaching. Frontiers in Education Technology., 2(3). DOI:10.22158/fet.v2n3p168
EdStaff (2018, February, 12). What Is a Modern Learning Environment? https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/02/what-modern-learning-environment
Richards, J. C. (2015). Technology in Language Teaching Today. Indonesia Journal of English Language Teaching, 10(1), 18-32.