translation technology

7 Ways Technology Can Assist With Language Learning and Teaching

Learning and teaching a language is a combination of being innovative with the teaching approach to motivate learners’ attention along with keen learners who are eager to become fluent. A dull classroom with a dull teacher may demoralise the students. However, technology if used appropriately may help to spur the learner to grasp the language more quickly.

There are several ways technology can help teachers and learners as follows:

  1. Use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook as it crosses language frontiers without leaving the computer. One of the great features about Facebook apart from being able to communicate with just about anyone you want and in any language you choose is the translation tool that’s available for translating text. It’s not completely accurate but if you are stuck with trying to understand some chat it offers enough to get the gist of what’s being said.
  2. Use of video to practice the language such as presenting news in the new language or discussing a topic in a small group can be very rewarding. Students in a language learning class can record themselves just using their smart phone when presenting a news topic in the language they are learning. This can be saved, shared and discussed in a classroom situation.
  3. Technology offers audio-video solutions that once initiated may be repeated, paused and played more quickly or slowly. Overall, audio and video features on a computer, an iPad or a smart phone have the ability to stop and start a conversation that has been recorded whether in a video or audio format. This gives the teacher time for correction and discussion of a student’s recording
  4. Use of online tools such as Gmail chat and Skype as tools to communicate in the targeted language, either with a fellow student or a teacher.
  5. Computerised dictionaries are handy tools for the learner seeking the meaning of a word. These have in the past been frowned upon because the context of a word is important, so looking up in an electronic dictionary could end up with the wrong word choice.
  6. Use a free app like Livemocha, which has 12 million native speakers from 200 countries in over 38 languages and encompasses live classes and conversations in an online environment. You are spoilt for choices of people to practice speaking with. There is another more personal one called Anki, that is based on flashcards with a focus on memorising, not group or one to one interaction. It displays an image, word or phrase or plays a sound, and then it leaves it to you to interpret it, repeat it and memorise. This is great for the language learner who wants to build up vocabulary quickly.
  7. The iPad is a useful electronic device with unique characteristics that can help both learners and teachers. It can act as a computer, a teacher’s register, a lesson planner, an exercise book, a camera, a small whiteboard, an mp3 and mp4 player and a multimedia recorder

Summary

Overall, there is only one word for technology and that is it’s great, because as a tool it offers vast opportunities for both teaching and learning in many different situations.

Author Bio:-

Alexander Zeller is a project manager and translator working with The Migration Translators in Australia, providing legal, medical, business, marketing, technical and website translation services in over 130 Languages. By blending the best of both offline and online translation services, we at The Migration Translators deliver experiences that surprise and delight – on budget, on time, on scope.

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