technology

Technology in the Second Language Classroom

It goes without saying that technology is everywhere around us and that it is almost inevitable to come into contact with it in every action of our life: CD-ROMs, emails, the Internet, ATMs, the World Wide Web seem to be. built into our everyday vocabulary that most people wouldn’t even ask what we’re talking about.

They would know for sure what we mean, even those who are not interested in technology.

We all know that technology is constantly evolving and when we think we have figured out how it works we have an invasion of new developments, gadgets and tools that make us wonder if we are not yet square one. And we are not. We are right in the middle of an endless quest for knowledge. Isn’t that what education is? The words mentioned above are now part of our daily life, and we may even feel that they were never complex to begin with. But they were! Just like now, we may seem to hear about blogs, iPods, post-broadcast, streaming, RSS, etc. In turn, this will be to make us feel comfortable both hearing about it and talking about it. The quest for learning is on … For good!

However, the point of this article is not to tell you that technology is always evolving – something you already know for sure – but to share with you some of the reasons why I personally enjoy teaching using technology in the classroom. and why I think every teacher should use it as much as possible whenever possible.

I have been teaching English as a Second Language and Spanish as a Second Language for over 14 years now and throughout my career I have always noticed how fascinated students feel when dealing with technology.

You can see it in their eyes, that flicker of emotion that they radiate every time they come in contact with him.

However, the same is not true for teachers. I have noticed that many teachers feel scared or overwhelmed by new technological advancements, as if in some way they need to place themselves in a long forgotten position, i.e. as students. . And it is true that with new technologies, we are all learners. But also in life we ​​are learners !!! Who could afford to say, “I know everything”? I certainly couldn’t! To be precise, who could afford to say “I know everything there is to know about my area of ​​expertise?” I couldn’t say that either. I have to accept that there is a world of knowledge that asks or even begs for exploration and it is up to us to embark on this quest to discover more and more every day. Will we ever be able to know everything? I think it would be like asking if we might ever be able to bottle all the water in the ocean. We might not be able to do it, but what a great time could we have trying to do it!

It is quite understandable that as teachers we are not always up to date with new trends, but if we just try to relax and lose the fear of them we will notice that they are not our enemies. but our allies. It is true that if I wanted to stand in front of my students with an aura of power and omnipotent knowledge, this might not be the best approach, but I wonder, is it always good to have this attitude in front? our students? Is it good for our personal development and growth to have this kind of attitude? “I know everything and if there’s something I don’t know, I’ll act like an ostrich and put my head in the ground.” Is this really what we want to do? With or without technology, this attitude will most often be our main cause of frustration and rejection on the part of peers and students, indeed with everyone we come into contact with.

Unfortunately, this is what is happening in most classes these days. Many teachers simply don’t tackle technology, either out of fear of the unknown or even having to cede some sort of authority to students. After all, isn’t it true that teachers teach and students learn? Well, yes … but let’s not forget and always keep in mind that we are all learning. The more I teach and see how my students react, the more I learn about them, about myself, how to reach them, about my teaching practices. It’s all part of the teaching experience. There is no longer such a clear distinction.

There is no doubt that young people feel more attracted to new technologies than adults. They spend a lot of time dealing with it to become self-taught experts. In fact, they know a lot! Maybe MUCH more than us! So what? Where some teachers may seem boring or fearful, I see a possibility!

Think of the wonderful opportunity to have these students share some of the knowledge they have acquired after hours and hours in front of a computer, for example. They could share so much with the rest of the class so that you and everyone can learn from their experience. Do not see them as threats but as allies in your quest for knowledge. You may know nothing, a little, or maybe a lot about their favorite subjects! It does not matter. You can start using new technologies right away! How? ‘Or’ What? Very easily. With a few tips and instructions, any teacher can start using them right away! Just think about this:

How much more effective would your lessons be if you could create your own website with exactly the materials you need for your students? Think about the benefits of doing this in class, if you’ve never done anything like it before.

“Yeah, that’s right.” Will say a lot. “I just learned to check my emails and now you expect me to make a website! Sounds good but too optimistic and unrealistic!”

My answer would be: “Do you know how to use a word processor?”

If your answer is “YES” then I will tell you that if you know how to use a word processor, learning how to build a website will take you 10 minutes longer.

If your answer is “NO”, it may take 15-20 minutes to build your first website.

Yes, you heard me right! Ten to twenty minutes more and you will have your own website up and running! What about the software? Do you need special software?

Well if you have a word processor like WORD you don’t need any other special software. This will do the trick!

It is not our purpose in this article to explain how to build a website but I promise I will in another episode of these mini articles. What I want to emphasize here is that the technology doesn’t have to be difficult for us to implement. In fact, the opposite is true. We must lose our fear of it and we can accomplish tasks that were unthinkable for us barely a year ago! Lose the fear of technology, that’s it! Once you decide to implement the new technologies in your classroom, you are well on your way to achieving this goal. It’s your decision that matters most. Think about it and the rest will be simple.

Why do students love “technology” so much? Simply put, technology has a magical component. It’s the thrill of exploring something new, an untrained path that demands exploration. I call it “matrix syndrome”. If you’ve seen the movie called “The Matrix” you might know what I mean, that little something that pushes you to learn more, that doesn’t let go until you’ve answered all of them. the questions and you have one clue at a time. Once you’ve unraveled one, another closely related one appears and sets your mind in motion to try and figure out what can happen next. You can’t let it go and crave it more and more, like an addiction that needs to be nurtured. The good thing is, it’s knowledge addiction.

If you’re not very tech-savvy, think about how much your students may be missing, not because your lessons aren’t good enough. Maybe these are great lessons. But imagine how much you could strengthen your lessons by embracing new technology and capitalizing on those students with some expertise in the field. Not only will you take your lessons to the next level, but you will also bring a great transfer of magic into your classroom. And when you see that glow in your students’ eyes, you’ll know for sure you’ve made the right decision.


Source by Julio Foppoli

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