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 Instead of reading boring and outdated textbook passages, students can read real information that is current and exciting.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