In today’s modern world of education, it is observed that technology plays a major role in changing the way students learn or teachers teach. The concepts of technological innovation have brought a new approach to education where technology has become an essential part of the educational arena.
If you ask me what makes me make that statement, I would give the example of learning English. In fact, English has emerged as a language of international importance. It has become diplomacy, academics, and international business. The need for English education has grown up consistently and that is where technology has been able to lend a helping hand.
As we have witnessed and found out in our day-to-day life, the rise of technology has become instrumental in multiple ways such as interactive language apps and multimedia resources to virtual reality experiences and collaborative online tools. These apps have grown so powerful that they have been able to enhance the knowledge of the language, in addition to improving global communication skills and cultural awareness.
But, can we choose the right option for engaging the English students – especially when we have so many options available? Let us explore a few of these tools:
Interactive learning platforms
The interactive learning platforms are akin to your dynamic teacher at your school or college. These tools do not just help you learn the language, but they make your learning a more dynamic and adventurous task. I found these applications to provide an immersive learning experience. As you would have witnessed, these tools have boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they will stay for longer.
What makes these tools stand apart? I experimented with them and found them adding interactive sessions for enhancing your learning experience. The interactive sessions, quizzes, and games help in making your learning more engaging. Apart, you will also be able to progress slowly at your own pace. Finally, these platforms provide you with an option where you get to check your progress immediately and instantly. That would mean, you will be able to learn from your mistakes.
Have you heard about Duolingo? It offers a gamified learning session for learning a language. There are several other platforms – Quizlet which lets you learn with customized flashcards. Then, there is Babbel which is the best platform for practicing dialogues and pronunciation. All these platforms help you learn the English language in an interactive manner through regular practice and instant rectification.
Gamification is not only about something that involves video games, but it can help in the education sector as well. It makes learning the language quite simple and easy. From my personal experience, I found it very dynamic with the game elements and mechanics. Making English learning a huge adventure. It involves the use of elements such as challenges, rewards, and competition to make it easy to learn the language. This would make it an adventure than plain learning.
The best advantage of gamification is that it converts the dull experience of learning a language into a thrilling and goal-oriented task in itself. It also helps you indulge in consistent practice, as you will be motivated to earn more rewards as part of your learning experience.
Popular examples of gamified language learning apps include Duolingo, which gamifies lessons and tracks progress with a point system; Memrise, known for its gamified vocabulary building; and FluentU, which uses real-world videos with interactive subtitles to teach English in a very simple contextual manner. These gamified apps help you learn the language and also provide you with a sense of achievement. I found them inculcating a love for the language.
Multimedia Content and Online Resources
Want to add some spice to your language learning? Multimedia content and online resources are what would make the experience stand out. A few examples here that I would cite are videos and interactive websites. These aids will make the language learning easy understandable, and even memorable. Podcasts are perhaps another example that helps you improve your listening skills.
However, choosing the right tools and resources is important here. The content used in these resources should meet the goals you have. They should also be in tune with the comprehension skills of your students. One good option that I can think of in this context is to use clear audio and even subtitles.
The resources should be weaved perfectly into your lessons. The best approach is to use videos first and then follow them up with questions, then use the podcasts to improve the listening skills. Make use of multimedia and online resources to work as a powerful tool for effective language learning skills.
Virtual Reality And Augmented Reality
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies are another way of game changers. They can help the English learners quite effectively. VR can put you in a virtual environment where you can speak to native speakers. AR can help you translate street signs, menu cards, and several other similar options. These tools and techniques can help the students in taking the learning outside the classroom. Your language learning would be immersive and practical.
VR helps you in checking out the countryside and city streets alike. This can help understand the nuances of regional variations in the language. AR can help you overlay the content in the real world. You can translate and understand the signs and other elements in real-time. In essence, both VR and AR eliminate geographical boundaries. Your students will learn beyond the textbook learning experience.
Collaborative Online Tools
Collaborative online tools are the best way to bring teamwork into your language learning exercises. These tools can also help you in improving your interpersonal skills more effectively. You will be able to indulge in real-world communication.
One such platform is Google Docs. it helps in creating the stories in a collaborative mode. Zoom and Microsoft Teams help you with options for learning group discussions and speaking practice. I also found that platforms such as Tandem Language Exchange and ConversationExchangehelp the students connect with the native speakers. Other tools that I found equally impressive are Turnitin or Peergrade which help improve the work capability.
By incorporating collaborative online tools, language educators create an interactive and inclusive learning environment that promotes active participation, cultural exchange, and the development of well-rounded language skills.
In essence, technology has brought a new zeal of life into English language learning. Learning a language has not remained just learning a language, but it has become a way to embrace cultural awareness, global communication, and engagement. All the tools that we have outlined above should ideally be helpful in improving the level of learning the English language.
The interconnected world that we live in makes these technological advancements the right choice to keep students well-prepared for the global stage. Making the best use of technology can be instrumental in helping the students find it an interesting journey.
Did these tips for incorporating technology to engage English students inspire you to become an English teacher yourself, but you don’t have the right education? One popular option is to get your TEFL certification. TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language and proves you are proficient enough in the English language to teach it to others. Here you can find out all about TEFL-certification costs.