By Paola Quesada Fonseca - Student of English Teaching and Translation
The writer and pedagogue Jerry Blumengarten (2018) stated in a recent publication: “Tech gives the quietest student a voice.” (Keodara, 2019, para. 9). The power of this message lies in the fact that learning English is not just about understanding input, but rather being able to interact and express one’s ideas. In the past, teaching methods were questionable because students learned the language mechanically and without any real context. The revolution of new technologies has allowed the learning of English to be accessible to everyone and to occur more interactively and dynamically, so this short essay demonstrates how its use improves the classroom climate, the skills of the language, and practice.
The use of technology is essential in the teaching-learning process, both inside and outside of the classroom, to improve the environment. In the case of teaching English, it has made it possible to implement dynamic strategies that capture student's attention. Abunowara (2016) points out that teachers are in charge of planning, designing, and implementing educational activities with information and communications technologies (ICT) (Pazilah, Hashim, & Yunus, 2019, para. 5). One of the advantages of the Internet is that you can find multiple tools to create material, share it and even use what is available. According to Roy (2019) ICT certainly gives ESL students a sense of freedom, motivation, and encouragement in their learning process (Pazilah, Hashim, and Yunus, 2019, para. 9).
Thanks to technological advances, English language skills have seen a significant improvement compared to the way they were learned before. It is useful when we use tools or applications that are familiar or interesting to students because it is easy for them to interact through collaboration and discussion. Green (2005) comments that thanks to computers, the students improve their speaking skills because they feel confident presenting or exchanging ideas. Regarding listening, there is a variety of resources such as music and podcasts. When it comes to reading for the diversity of short, simple, and fantastic books that we can find; and in writing for the different formats in which a text can be presented, such as diagrams. The above put into practice will yield excellent results.
Concerning practice, we know what can be improved, but now we have to learn how to put ICT into practice. Plebańska et al. (2020) suggest working with "multimedia resources to present the material, interactive activities to consolidate the content and questionnaires and revision tasks to verify the results." (Marchlik, Wichrowska, & Zubala, 2021, para. 7). On the other hand, we must think about whether the work should be cooperative or individual, depending on the activity they carry out. The resources are unlimited. For example, tools such as Canvas, Wix, Genially, Drive, Powtoon, Zoom, among others, are the best allies to design our classes and to allow students to create their products. Let us remember that it is about moving away from the traditional methodologies and that through the construction of knowledge, they can achieve better learning.
In conclusion, we can determine that ICT should be part of the school curriculum, especially in the technological age. The way many of us learned English became obsolete; most of the students are digital natives, and we must adapt to their lifestyle, not without first having a clear idea of what we want to do. Implementing technology is a process that requires time and training, but once we have mastered it, the benefits it can bring are worth it. For instance, the implementation of tech tools improves the classroom environment by motivating students. Additionally, the student's linguistic skills will increase greatly as well. Ultimately, teaching English will never be as boring and static as it once was.
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Green, T. (2005). Using Technology To Help English Language Students Develop Language Skills: A Home and School Connection. Multicultural Education. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ759624.pdf
Keodara, K. (2019). Collection of the 10 best Edtech quotes. Visuon. https://visuon.com/s/collection-of-the-10-best-edtech-quotes/
Marchlik, P., Wichrowska, K., & Zubala, E. (2021). The use of ICT by ESL teachers working with young learners during the early COVID-19 pandemic in Poland. Educ Inf Technol. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10639-021-10556-6
Pazilah, F., Hashim, H., & Yunus, M. (2019). Using Technology in ESL Classroom: Highlights and Challenges. Creative Education, 10 (1). https://www.scirp.org/html/65-6304674_96819.htm