Technology in the Foreign Language Classroom

Instructor: Sharon Linde
We all know that teachers use technology in classrooms every day across the nation. What about foreign language classrooms? How does technology enhance learning another language? Read on to find out.

Technology Basics

Instructors use technology in teaching to enhance, engage and motivate students. What is educational technology? It refers to the broad range of devices used in the classroom. Think about all the technological tools you use on a day-to-day basis - smart phones, tablets, and computers. Schools use all these and more as teaching tools, and such technology has a special role in foreign language instruction.

The Importance of Technology in Foreign Language Instruction

Depending on the school, student body and subject matter, the use of technology serves many purposes. Foreign language teachers have a specific niche: Their job is to teach students a whole new language, including the nuanced rules of grammar and cultural norms. Technology offers foreign language teachers a chance to supplement their instruction by:

  • Making learning visible: Technology can bring another culture into the classroom. Using technology tools that connect to foreign lands and display how others live allows students to see and experience language in a whole new way.
  • Differentiating: Not all students are the same. Each one has with different strengths and needs. Technology tools give teachers additional resources to reach all learners.
  • Engaging students: Technology these days is often interactive, allowing users a chance to be engaged in learning experiences. You can't do that with a book!
  • Applying language: With language acquisition, you either use it or lose it. Technology gives students many opportunities to use their broadening language skills in real-world applications.

The Promethean ActivBoard is one technology tool that allows for interaction in the classroom.
promethean board

Teachers must utilize technology in a way that's intentional and purposeful. No matter how they utilize devices, when planning technology use in foreign language classrooms, teachers should make sure they're meeting an educational objective.

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