Modern methods for learning a foreign language

by Juan Miguel Regueifero, October 20, 2016

Learning a foreign language is a process that can and should be supported by a variety of resources; methods that have been used have evolved and incorporated the technology of its time in order to turn learning into an efficient, pleasant and more natural process. Nowadays technology advances so fast that it´s hard to keep updated not only for economic reasons but also due to the practical usage of it. Many specialists, principals and school owners have failed when trying to replace the role of teachers with technology; on the other hand some students have cumulated lots of devices, software and information from which they use only 10%, at most.

When starting the language teaching-learning process it’s a basic and main need that students exercise, practice, use role play techniques or even get in touch with native people. Technology takes part on all those activities. It’s much more effective to practice listening activities and watch video sequences by using devices which fit in your pocket than having to wait till you get home to connect a DVD or CD player. It’s also more convenient that a lesson related to buying at a mall be delivered by using video sequences where students could see how communicative functions are used as well as the vocabulary associated. If on top of that the student can use his personal computer to study and check his own homework realizing about mistakes and correcting them, that will definitely save a lot of time and will prevent him from making the same mistakes once and again.

Then ¿Which are some of the incorrect usages of technology when teaching-learning a language? Below you can find some negative examples taken from everyday life:

  1. An English teacher who delivers lessons at a beginner level: He started the class playing a video sequence without any previous information and as homework he leaves questions about it.
  2. A beginner student of English language with listening difficulties: He copies a rock song in his cell phone and spends all day listening to it, he only understands random words.
  3. An intermediate English language student: The method he is using is called ALL IN ONE; he needs to do his homework about passive voice and will have a test about it in 48 hrs. He has the latest interactive method on his PC and spends the 2 days before the test installing the program and finding out how it works.
  4. An English teacher who delivers lessons at a beginner level: He takes one chapter from the series LIE TO ME to the class and spends all the lesson playing it for the students, so that they can tell him later what happened in that chapter.
  5. A beginner student of English language: He has only learned the greetings. He accesses chat rooms on Internet every day to practice his English but gets frustrated because of his lack of understanding.

Some examples may seem unreal but these things happen more often than we can imagine and they show us that technology does not mean solution, we must realize what tools we need for which moment and use it for a definite purpose.

2 thoughts on “Modern methods for learning a foreign language”

  1. Javier Ricardo says:

    La tecnología es una herramienta que nos puede ayudar a la hora de aprender un idioma, pero no debemos olvidar que es necesario interactuar con un profesor que sepa guiarnos y corregir nuestros errores.

  2. Roberto Zapata says:

    Roberto Zapata

    Valorando el argumento “Idioma y Tecnología” se puede ver que un mal uso de tecnologías de avanzada en la práctica del idioma podría provocar un mal aprendizaje de los mismos debido a que muchos pensamos que de esta manera hacemos bien nuestro trabajo e incluso mejoramos, pero esto no ayuda en nada sin alguien que este tutoreando el crecimiento del conocimiento.

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