Language teaching and learning facilities on the Internet

Thứ tư - 06/08/2014 22:13
With regard to the magnitude of the application of ICT in teaching, Directive 29/2001/CT-BGD&ĐT of the Minister of Education and Training has highlighted that "ICT can exert a strong impact, attributing to a change in the content and method of teaching and learning. ICT is the means towards a learning society". in light of the Directive, the application of ICT in teaching and learning is increasingly prevalent in schools and universities alike nationwide with lectures being conducted with the aid of computers.

The reality of ICT application and solutions
The swift development of the information technology has attributed to sweeping changes in language teaching and learning methods. According to Beauvois (1992), Peck & Domcott (1994), Murphy (1995), Kallick & Wilson (2001) and Warschauer & Shetzer (2003), just to name a few, the application of ICT in teaching and learning has exerted positive effects:
- ICT allows teachers to instruct and help individual learners and learners to self-study at their convenience in a friendly environment;
- ICT helps with learners' reasoning decvelopment, facilitating learners to organize, analyze, develop and evaluate their own study;
- ICT can offer learners new and intriguing experiences;
- ICT also enables learners to pursue life-long learning goal, which is the key to success;
- ICT helps to build learner confidence and autonomy and offers learners a huge multimedia source of learning materials in texts, audio and video files;
- ICT can offer foreign language learners the opportuntiies to access a practical and varied language learning environment to practice and sharpen all the four macro-skills, apart f-rom vocabulary, grammar and phonetics.
Still, it is a disappointing fact that computers are mainly used in many places to help teachers show simple slides, frequently in text, instead of writing with chalk or whiteboard markers, resulting in monotonous lessons without promoting learners' initiative and autonomy, which is the expected educational objective. If teachers are able to make good use of the Internet-based resources, they can enhance the effectiveness of the lectures delivered. Such resources mainly include texts, audio and video files, animations, illustrations, graphics and moving pictures with non-linear interactive hyperlink technology via interactive simulation. These visual resources can stimulate the learning passion and greatly facilitate learners’ self-awareness and self-study. The Internet offers a multimedia interactive environment, a huge library and an abundant teaching material source. The Internet also serves as an effective communicative medium with various interactive modes like emails, messages, dialogues, forums and the like. Teachers can include such educational websites in their lectures by either directly linking with such websites or downloading materials for teaching activities. Hence, effective employment of the Internet in teaching for better teaching quality is of great magnitude.
To the end, certain requirements must be met:
The information f-rom the Internet
- must be relevant to the objective and contents of the lessons, the learners’ level, helping to improve knowledge, skills to meet the requirements of teaching method innovation;
- must be directly or indirectly relevant to the contents of the lessons to shape learners’ reasoning skills;
- must be diverse in forms (information, pictures, audio, video, etc) and should be well se-lected to be focused.
In class teachers
- must be fluent in accessing the Internet, using searching tools such as the Google, Yahoo, Altavista, or having skills to se-lect searching key words in line with the searching objectives;
- can cre-ate an e-library to store necessary information.
Language teaching and learning facilities on the Internet
To handle learning group / class management, teachers can resort to Edmodo, a free software being widely used in numerous countries. Teachers can easily access Edmodo and register as teachers before creating groups/classes, assigning tasks and managing the learning, task completion and discussion of learners. The software is highly secured and can even remind learners of submission dates and mark the MCQ tasks
The software Voicethread allows users, mainly language teachers and learners worldwide, to interact and share language knowledge, which is especially useful to English speaking skills. With this software, language learners can share their oral practice on the web by recording and posting it to the “thread” of their group / class, hence gradually improving their confidence in oral communication.
Some other simple but highly applicable softwares include Crossword Forge which can help teachers cre-ate crosswords for learners and Audacity which is especially useful for teachers to do sound tuning, sound speed adjusting, chunking audio files, or designing music cover for their story telling.
Other facilities comprise MySchool Network (MySN), a social network in education to help learners improve their English proficiency by attending online projects and events, Wikipaces which can help to form learning material sources and learner portfolio, Testmoz which offers online tests and allows teachers to interact online with learners via Socrative or Blackboard.

In short, language teachers and learners should utilize the versatile and communicative Internet as an effective language learning instrument, creating a pefect learning environment. The Internet enables learners to form their own communities and encourages learners to use foreign languages in their communication for practical purposes, satisfying different learners’ learning methods and preferences.

  1. Beauvois, M.H. (1995). “E-talk attitudes and motivation in computer-assisted classroom discussion”. Computer and the Humanities, 28, 177-190.
  2. Directive 29/2001/CT-BGD&ĐT -
  3. Murphy, V. (1995). “Using technology in early learning classrooms”. Learning and Leading With Technology, 22 (8), 8-10.
  4. Kallick, B. & Wilson, J.M. (2001). Information technology for schools, creating practical knowledge to improve students’ performance. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Wiley Company.
  5. Peck, K.L. & Domcott, D. (1994). “Why use technology?” Journal of Educational Leadership, 51 (7), 11-14.
  6. Warschauer, M. & Shetzer, H. (2003). Network-based language teaching: concepts and practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Tác giả bài viết: Nguyễn Tiến Dũng

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