Just as in the other subject areas, technology can make a transformative impact in the language classroom. In fact, considering the straining of language learning resources in many districts and the ever-increasing number of students in need of those services, technology can serve as a critical way forward.
Here are some ways that technology not only facilitates learning in the language classroom, but also improves it.
Delivers individualized learning
Class sizes in language classrooms are swelling. In world languages, students are increasingly seeing the need for language skills in order to compete in the 21st century economy. Of course, America’s English-learner population is growing almost exponentially.
Even the most gifted teacher struggles with differentiating instruction for more than 30 students. The right mix of blended learning can help students move along on his or her own pace, in the style that works best for them.
Practice valuable speaking skills
In that class of 30+ students, each learner is only afforded a short amount of time to practice speaking skills. It’s a simple matter of scarcity of resources.
With Rosetta Stone’s voice recognition technology, students spend most of their time speaking. The software helps correct and perfect their pronunciation, giving them confidence when it comes time to speak to anyone—even a native speaker!
A complement to classroom instruction
That being said, Rosetta Stone is not a replacement for a skilled and knowledgeable language teacher. Instead, the program complements the instruction that occurs in the classroom by providing students more opportunities to practice their skills in a targeted manner.
Not only do students have more chances to practice their speech, but because online learning is always available, they have more time to practice their listening and writing skills as well. Students come to class well prepared and ready to learn the new skills that the teacher will be presenting that day.
Keeping these points in mind, it’s easy to see the difference technology can make in the language classroom. It’s entirely possible that, in a few years, we will wonder how we got along without it.