World Languages: Living in the Classroom Through Technology

I started off my career teaching Spanish. There were very few technologies available then. Today’s teachers of Spanish and other World Languages have available many technologies that help the language classroom to come alive.

Here are a few uses of technology that bring real language use into the classroom instead of technology that brings drill and practice into the classroom:

Watch satellite shows in the new language and answer questions about them.

Listen to Internet radio stations in the new language and analyze songs or newscasts.

Reading the newspapers in that language through various websites. Instead of reading boring and outdated textbook passages, students can read real information that is current and exciting.

Write via email/IM to students in other locations about societal issues, school concerns, etc. Students can be put in a common “class” in a Blackboard-like environment so that all of their conversations are archived.

Have regularly scheduled videoconferences with classes in other locations in that language.

Create presentations/emovies to share with the other language group/class who react to them or critique them.

What other uses of technology do you have to bring real language, not drill and practice, into the classroom so that our students use world languages as other speakers do?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


1 Response to “World Languages: Living in the Classroom Through Technology”

  1. 1 Lauren Rosen August 8, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    Wikis promote collaborative writing and peer editing. They can be private for just the class or available for the world to read. The content is open to the imagination of the instructor and students. It could be groups of students researching common topics and posting what they have learned including links to examples on the web. It could be students talking about themselves in light of the themes being studied so they can continue to add information throughout the courses as new themes are introduced. In an advanced class it could be a write your own adventure story. You name it, the possibilities are endless.

    Text IM can be difficult in some languages especially with native speakers who have abbreviations that the non-native speakers may or may not recognize. However there are a number of tools for voice chat, some of which can be recorded for archiving.

    There are many other options and I’ll be interested to read what others add.

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