Use Of Computer In English Language Learning


Introduction:

When new technology comes it influences the language. Technology always has influence on language dramatically. If we think about the technologies of the past like, printing-arrives in the 15th century, suddenly new varieties of English that were not before as it makes the language easy and convenient in communication. When we have newspapers and eventually look at headlines and all the cartoons and captions in the editorials and before that language were different. In the 19th century telephone arrived and it changed the people language behavior. After in 1970 broadcasting came and gives new varieties of English and helps more and more people to understand English language worldwide. In recent world internet and computer change the English scenario, as it gives new varieties and distinct style that is more interactive and comprehendible, it affects in special way.

Position of English language in Pakistan:

English used worldwide can be described in three different contexts; English as a native (ENL), English as a second language (ESL), and English as a foreign language (EFL).  In ESL countries, many people speak English for various prospects.  Even in Pakistan, English is used everywhere and, People excelled in English are benefitted professionally and socially. English has gained an important position in language as well as in education policing.

Impact of technology:

Emerging technologies and their accessibility and capability dramatically impacted the innovative way to teaching method. Through different studies and surveys conducted in Pakistan it has been established and recommended that teaching through using computer technologies may be applied to improve the language learning competency of the students. Computer attained an integral place in lives for the past years. Many experts speculate remarkable change in language instruction with the advancement of computer, the internet and mobile technologies, in coming future. Introducing computers in to English language classrooms significantly affect the learning environment and more students centered, exploratory, and authentic.

Computer technology and education:

In education, computers are used in two ways. One is CAI (Computer Aid Command) and the other is CMI (Computer Management Command). Computers are being used very effectively in both of these ways. Most of the tutors and pupils agree on best learning through personalized instruction designed for learning. There is need to find effective ways to use computers in the English education. With the help of computers, teachers can make students learn more effectively. In this way student will not get bored and comprehend difficult concepts according to their ability. If teacher uses computers in teaching, he can make it more creative with the aid of different software for grammar, spelling check, punctuations and writing skills at middle level, and it is appropriate for students with variety of capabilities.

In Europe and America use of computer and internet in English language learning remarkably improvised the process. Even in Pakistan many studies have been conducted in which computer as aiding tool is used in English language learning that identified positive aspects of this technology in learning the language.

Computers are increasingly integrated into discrete disciplines such as autonomy, corpus linguistics and testing, as well as research and practice on the general skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening, and computer-assisted English learning/education is taking place today under this heading;

  • Computer-aided instruction (CAI)
  • Computer assisted learning (CAL)
  • Computer assisted language instruction (CALI)
  • Computer-assisted language teaching (or testing) (CALT)
  • Computer adaptive teaching (or testing) (CAT)
  • Computer-based training (CBT)
  • Computer-mediated communication (CMC)
  • Computer-mediated instruction (CMI)
  • Intelligent computer assisted language learning (ICALL)

Teachers are aware of all the latest methodologies and new strategies for teaching English; they will help students improve their skills and knowledge of new technologies. This will replenish the old and boring style of learning and teaching method and improvise the motivational elements of students as well as teachers. These methodologies helped teacher to teach interesting way, tutor can select methodologies conforming the capability of student. Student will find new features of English language with help of games, software and internet. This method refines their intelligence skill.

Methodology

Many studies have been conducted in this regard; the use of computers in English language teaching/learning to the students middle level. Data collected to different questionnaire and surveys and it depicts the significant difference in improvisation of language learning with the aid of computer. Most of these schools are private and middle to high class. Unfortunately there is no induction of computer aided learning system in government schools. These studies identified the opportunities and shortcomings in this system and some gave remedy to these shortcomings.

Advantages of computer-aided language learning:

Induction of computer in language learning yields many opportunities, this way they learn what language sounds like, how it looks like and means can be supported and enhanced by through teacher student talk about what they observe on computer screen. The best way to language acquisition is repetition; repeated exposure to same lesson is very helpful or even essential to learning. Computer is best source of repeated drill, as computer will not get bored with same material, while a teacher get bored and could not repeat the material with same quality and spirit.

Another very important and significant advantage of computer is; it presents lessons on individualized basis, which allows students of different capabilities to move at their own pace and freeing up class time for other stuff.

Call and multimedia:

The integrated approach to CALL is based on two main technological advances: multimedia and the Internet. Multimedia technology today is demonstrated by CD-ROMs that accept a variety of media such as text graphics, sound, animation, and video accessible from a single system. What makes multimedia even more effective is that it involves hypermedia, meaning that multimedia resources are interconnected so that learners can navigate their path with just a click of a mouse. Hypermedia offers a number of benefits for language learning because it combines listening and seeing. Secondly, the technique is easily integerized. This is because it makes things natural by combining reading, writing, speaking, and listening into a single activity due to the integration of variety of media. Students can cope learning not only at their own pace, but also according to their individual paths that by moving back and forth to other parts of the program. The main advantage of hypermedia is that it facilitates a primary focus on content and also maintains secondary focus on learning strategies or language forms.  In this way, students have access to a different background links that provide quick access to grammar explanations or exercises, vocabulary glossaries, and pronunciation information that encourages the adoption of suitable learning strategies. Therefore, the existing multimedia technology partially put up to the integrative CALL.

Computer-mediated communication allows users to share brief messages as well as long documents, thus facilitating co-authoring, and also sounds, graphics and videos. Using World Wide Web students can search huge data from all over the world within the minutes to locate and access authentic materials according to their own personal interests. They can also publish their texts or multimedia materials to share with their mates or with their general public. It is not difficult to see how computer-mediated communication and the Internet can facilitate an integer approach to the use of technology. Using the Internet, you can create an environment in which authentic and creative communication is quintessential in every process.

Computer-aided learning techniques:

Evolutionary  progress in self-access computing and networking have made it possible to merge CALL into English language course, which helps develop ways to promote student autonomy and independent language learning. It's a very modest scale, but the results are interesting regarding the use of CALLs within the syllabus. Teachers are applying various methodologies to make student learn in better way. There are number of technological techniques and methodologies for various kinds of situations in classroom. There are some computer aided learning techniques that are given below;

Internet Treasure Hunt: In this technique students are asked to collect pieces of information. The teacher helps them to organize this task, this way they learn different strategies, like paraphrasing. The teacher wants the learner to find related information that motivate in general learning. The learner also learn the keywords out of the context, like birth and birthday and born. This encourages learner interaction.

Concordance: it is kind of word assimilation in which the student is asked to find the relationship among the words, and he may asked to look up the words to find natural context. This way they learn how to use words appropriately.

E-mail pen pals: email pen pals can be organized individually and by the class. This is the best way for learner to correspond with native speaker of English language.

Chat lines: It’s a kind of pen pals and commonly known as instant messaging. This way learner builds conversation effectively. The significance of this technique is that it can be preserved and studied by both teacher and pupil.

Thesaurus: thesaurus function is word processing software programmed is often exploited by tutors and learners to improve vocabulary. A student complete a piece of narrative or descriptive writing, then go through it, using alternatives adjectives and adverbs by pointing them and using the thesaurus for replacement. Unknown words can be learned, and known words can be compared.

Language learning sites: there are number of language learning sites on internet, like Englishtown and global English. They are very well designed for comprehensive English language learning. Students are able to learn language with contact provided. Student can repeat the exercises as many times as they want. This way they have the advantage of practicing privately. This is better option for shy and inhibited learners.

Suggestions:

  • Conventional teaching methodology is more teacher centered, single path progression, factual knowledge based learning and passive learning on the other hand CAELT/L is students centered, multipath progression, information exchange, active and team up work, inquisitor and investigative. CAELT/L is significant in both ways, as students more excited to learn than conventional learning, and tutors are more skilled in delivery than conventional way where they are focused on work load rather than teaching skills. This way teachers are facilitator and not dictator, guide effectively in friendly environment. Students in computer environmental have opinion of the effective learning in computer based environment, as motivation and authentic material are positive factors in building faith in learning.
  • Reading training has traditionally been misused by both teachers and students. Teachers consider grammar, writing, speaking and listening skills are key elements of instruction in English language. On the other hand, learners think that reading comprehension tests take a long time. Reading comprehension is an important part of language learning skill but unfortunately it is the most neglected are, as in secondary school level teacher teach without understanding, and students consider it most boring and teachers consider it as less important.Computer aided language learning helps students in improving the literal, inferential, and evaluative levels of reading skills.                                                                         
  • Technology based learning environment should be inducted to improvise the efficiency and achievement level of learners. Computer laboratories with all its essentials, like internet, networking and other technological facilities to improve efficiency of both teachers and students. Through technology interest may be developed in the students who are slow learners
  • Some computer software are very interactively design according to the environment of our country, that make learn language very easy, as in traditional English learning, that background environment and images and names are of American and British, while such software are with Pakistan background, that put more faith in students learning.
  • Students found to have more faith in computer aided learning rather than teacher centered training where they often get dubious.
  • In the context of recently growing information technology and race for student recruitment education, CALL is already beginning to find solutions to their pressured human resources. CALL is just like a classroom with computer and a teacher, where student work at their own. We can also say that in CALL computer work as vehicle for the delivery of instructional material. CALL increases the efficiency of English learners and provides a resource-rich and flexible learning environment based. In the opinion of many experts it complements class-based activities and increases the productivity of English language learners. It is a perfect for an individual self-access and distance learning culture. Highly skilled educational institutions are gradually transforming.

Merits of computer-aided learning:

Most of the students opine that computer makes English language interesting and easy. With the aid of computer the teacher’s instructions are very clear comprehendible, and these instructions are very helpful in using computers. And they are able to grab instructions easily and interestingly as they are consistent throughout the session. They also have convenience in building grammar. With computer aided activities they have improved their vocabulary.

The classroom activities are very useful in computer usage. The language design is interactive and enjoyable. They find out that English language is far most enjoyable and easy with computer than with the books. By using computer they effectively manage time. Student feedback after the English language session is effective and appropriate. They find internet is useful in researching different activities like grammar exercises, comprehension passages and classroom quizzes.

Beside student teachers also have very convenience and they manage difficulty level with computer aided teaching.

Demerits of computer-aided learning:

Computer aided English language teaching /learning have a vast range but the researcher are considering only the basic use of computers in English language teaching/learning which are common.

Teachers in the city are quite well versed in using computers while still there are many teachers they cannot use computer software effectively, that really bring frustration in this process. It was observed that most of the   female teachers have no au fei about computers.

Some teachers took computer as threat to their jobs, they thought that this way machine replace them, and they will be jobless, such teachers really put the process slow and boring.

Conclusion:

From the above discussion, it can be concluded that CAELT is a useful way to teach English to middle level students. And it brings a new spirit to our traditional English learning and brings better yield. Students and teachers strongly agreed that computer aided learning is very effective in learning language except few of them disagree.

It proves that conventional ways of teaching are not effective in encouraging language abilities of learner at desirable level. Students perform better in computer aided environment and it helps to develop the abilities of comprehension and application. The use of computer aided learning is highly recommended and acknowledged for extending learning of students.

Written by: Ayesha Saif Ur Rehman, Uzma Asif





 

 

 

 

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