The Use of Computers in Language Learning and Language Teaching

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The use of Computers in Language Learning and Language Teaching

C M. G

Research Paper
for

March 18, 2008

I.Introduction
In defining the meaning of literacy, Luke and Freebody suggested that there are four sets of overlapping practices that literacy involves such as: breaking the codes of text, participating in the meanings of texts, use the texts functionally and critically analyze and transform texts. (Warschauer. P. 2) Depending on the situation there are many types of literacies. Definitions of computer literacy were developed to guide the use of computers in schools. Later on the educators developed more meaningful definitions to refer to computer literacies such as: “the skills and knowledge needed by all citizens to survive and thrive in a society that is dependent on technology for handling information and solving complex problems.” (Johassen. P. 7) In the recent years, computer based-learning, a well established area of educational research, has a growing importance. In more recent years the current educational climate tries to implement computer technology into the learning experience. The use of computers in language learning is a well researched field, with studies on different computer applications and their pedagogical value to language learning. In order for a learner to achieve the four skills: writing, reading, listening and speaking, during language learning he has to play an active role. In a computer based language learning environment the computer “will act as an aid to the learning process, facilitate learning to the provision of learning materials and resources and enable interactions between all learners and teachers involved in the environment.” (Barr. P. 29)

Language learning environment
The language learning environment has changed over the last century. There is a significant emphasis on the communicative importance of language. When studying a language one studies the rules of language usage and the application of the language. “Inherent in the mastery of all four language-learning skills is the ability to construct coherent and accurate sentences, using and appropriate level of vocabulary and register: in other words, the ability to understand the rules of the language.” (Barr. P. 25)

Computer literate teachers
Teaching and learning are information driven processes. The teacher’s prime responsibility is to manage the information required to meet the objectives of a specific curriculum. (Romano. P. 2) Teachers, therefore, are encouraged to develop a personal approach to computer technology. Computers can be a very useful resource for teachers. Since much of the work in teaching involves record keeping, searching for new information, and creating collections of new materials, as well as providing individualized instructions (Provenzo, Brett and McCloskey, P. 8). Practicing teachers can use web pages that have appropriate links to government websites, on-line newspapers, historical maps, etc. These teachers, however, do not need to know how to create a web page. They become facilitators of technology in the social studies classroom. They do not become computer teachers in the social studies classroom. There are teacher education programs which provide pre-service teachers with information about computer applications of interest to them and with real applications to the future teaching assessments, which leads to the need for “teachers educators must integrate and model the use of technology in all methods course” (Karchmer, Mallette, Kara- Soteriou and Leu, P. 183).

I.The computer as a learning Aid
Computers are useful intellectual tools and tools are an extension of humans. Computers are incontestably transforming our civilization. (DiSessa. P. 3) Computers and other electronic technologies have provided multiple information-processing functions. Since the early seventies, computer technology has been used to facilitate...
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