The implimentation of ICT in English Learning :What,Why and How ?

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The implimentation of ICT in English Learning :What,Why and How ?

Sri Sunarti

ayikwahyudi@yahoo.com

  Abstrak

 Immediacy of being the global citizens empowers the learners to be aware of the intriguing technology. They always try to keep up with the latest technological gadgets. Technology, teachers, and learners are interrelated system. This condition makes classroom practitioners begin to incorporate new technologies into literacy experiences to overcome some difficulties associated with the EFL situation, such as large class sizes and mixed-ability class. The examples gadgets that can be used in the language classrooms are cell phone, computer, laptop, Tab and LCD. This paper will highlight on why, what and how ICT integrate in EFL program.

 Key Words: ICT ,ICT devices,Teachers,Learners and English Programme 

 Introduction

The globalization era makes information and communication technology (ICT) runs rapidly. Everyone has the access to get any information simply and quickly and to communicate long distances using technology tools easily, from the very basic to very advanced tools. This phenomenon makes the world smaller than before. The development of ICT also influences language teaching classroom, especially English as a foreign language since the immediacy of being the global citizens empowers the learners to be aware of the intriguing technology and English as one of international languages that is spoken by a half people in the world. When used appropriately, different ICTs are said to help expand access to education, strengthen the relevance of education to the increasingly digital workplace, and raise educational quality by, among others, helping make teaching and learning into an engaging, active process connected to real life (Fromkin, Rodman, and Hyams, 2000).

Supported by parents, students get the access of technology tools easily; no wonder that starting from kindergarten students nowadays have the technology tools, such as cell-phone, computers, laptops, Blackberry and others. This condition makes classroom practitioners or teachers begin to incorporate new technologies into literacy experiences.  Creativity of the classroom teachers is very important to pack ICT in the classroom as a media to achieve the learning objectives and make learning and teaching process fun and enjoyable. According to Stepp-Granny (2000) reports that technologically equipped classrooms increase student’s motivation because of the interactive nature of the activities. İşman, et al (2004) implies that students always have positive and optimistic ideas for using computer in the classrooms and it gives opportunity students to create new ideas and develops their problem solving skills while providing self-responsibility thus students feel comfortable. Kang (1999) explains the positive effects of computer and technology in EFL classrooms by allowing the students to observe the real life situation and meaningful communication. Zengin (2007) explains the importance of technological classrooms because students are more motivated and interested   in multi-media and technological lessons. Mayora (2006) tells the advantages of multimedia technology in EFL programs and adds that using multimedia increases students’ interest in the classroom. Teachers can use online magazines, newspapers as authentic materials. Harmer (2007) points out that student can become active and dynamic learners by means of online education and also mentions the importance of computer-based technological classrooms because they provide learners with unreachable and fascinating activities which attract and motivate them.

The ways of integrate ICT in classroom, like based on Arcairo (1993) states that using authentic video in EFL classrooms can be interesting and attractive for communicative dialogues. Chapple and Curtis (2000) point out that, “Using authentic films in the classrooms motivate the learners because many contextual clues of films’ and they make learners use both of their hemispheres which are very important for language learning. Using technology in EFL classrooms improve students’ four skills.” Students also can publish a class web page of their own, they can prepare simple fancy programs which are enjoyable during the difficult language learning process consequently they improve their writing skill.

The problem will rise to the questions why it is urgent to integrate ICT in English as a foreign language classroom, and what tools the teachers and learners must prepare to empower them in teaching learning process, and the last is how ICT can assist teachers and learners to achieve learning goal. This paper is aimed to answer those questions to describe why, what and how use ICT in teaching and learning process.

 Discussion

  1. 1.      Why ICT in EFL

There many reasons why we use ICT in teaching and learning process. Some reasons are large classes which sometimes consist of 30 until 40 students in one class, mixed-ability classes that the students have different abilities in English, and every student is accustomed to have the technology tools such as cell-phone and note book.

As the trend of language teaching has been transformed from structural views into communicative perspectives on language teaching and learning, by and large, internet can be implemented in EFL classrooms. Many researchers (e.g., Watson, 2006) believe that the Internet offers authentic materials-enriched sources for EFL instruction. Such sources can be perceived as a means of enhancing materials interactivity for EFL/ESL language learning. Using those sources, learners may be encouraged to use their relevant prior knowledge or experience, discourse, and existing language resources. Authentic materials-enriched sources, in turn, help create more stimulating and motivating language learning atmospheres. Previous studies (e.g., Warschauer, 1999; Yang, 2001) have investigated the effectiveness of Internet use in EFL classrooms. The findings show that learners were motivated to read and listen to Internet-based audio passages for hours because they did enjoy doing such learning tasks. In this way, they could manage their own learning goals and pace, thereby helping them foster their learning autonomy and its ownership and building a more learner-centered classroom. As a result, learners are engaged in authentic interactional situations and have the opportunity to make personal decisions about their own learning preferences.

Korabiak and Mete (2004) ever conducted a research on the use of ICT in the discipline of reading. Reading needs to be taught within each content area in order for students to develop the essential skills needed throughout the general curriculum. The use of ICT is an effective way for teachers to teach students to read. Examples such as talking books and text to speech software provide students with the motivation necessary to learn to read. Additionally, learning to read hypermedia gives students the skills they need to find information in our electronic world. ICT in reading is critical for all students living in the digital age.

Information and communication technologies (ICTs)—which include radio and television, as well as newer digital technologies such as computers and the Internet—have been touted as potentially powerful enabling tools for educational change and reform. When used appropriately, different ICTs are said to help expand access to education, strengthen the relevance of education to the increasingly digital workplace, and raise educational quality by, among others, helping make teaching and learning into an engaging, active process connected to real life.

However, the experience of introducing different ICTs in the classroom and other educational settings all over the world over the past several decades suggests that the full realization of the potential educational benefits of ICTs is not automatic. The effective integration of ICTs into the educational system is a complex, multifaceted process that involves not just technology but also curriculum and pedagogy, institutional readiness, teacher competencies, and long-term financing, among others.

This primer is intended to help policymakers in developing countries define a framework for the appropriate and effective use of ICTs in their educational systems by first providing a brief overview of the potential benefits of ICT use in education and the ways by which different ICTs have been used in education thus far. Second, it addresses the four broad issues in the use of ICTs in education—effectiveness, cost, equity, and sustainability. The primer concludes with a discussion of five key challenges that policymakers in developing countries must reckon with when making decisions about the integration of ICTs in education, namely, educational policy and planning, infrastructure, capacity building, language and content, and financing.

Information and communication technologies (ICTs)—which include radio and television, as well as newer digital technologies such as computers and the Internet—have been touted as potentially powerful enabling tools for educational change and reform. When used appropriately, different ICTs are said to help expand access to education, strengthen the relevance of education to the increasingly digital workplace, and raise educational quality by, among others, helping make teaching and learning into an engaging, active process connected to real life.

However, the experience of introducing different ICTs in the classroom and other educational settings all over the world over the past several decades suggests that the full realization of the potential educational benefits of ICTs is not automatic. The effective integration of ICTs into the educational system is a complex, multifaceted process that involves not just technology but also curriculum and pedagogy, institutional readiness, teacher competencies, and long-term financing, among others.

This primer is intended to help policymakers in developing countries define a framework for the appropriate and effective use of ICTs in their educational systems by first providing a brief overview of the potential benefits of ICT use in education and the ways by which different ICTs have been used in education thus far. Second, it addresses the four broad issues in the use of ICTs in education—effectiveness, cost, equity, and sustainability. The primer concludes with a discussion of five key challenges that policymakers in developing countries must reckon with when making decisions about the integration of ICTs in education, namely, educational policy and planning, infrastructure, capacity building, language and content, and financing.

In short, using internet in EFL classrooms provides language teachers with enormous benefits, as previously mentioned. This paradigm can be a cornerstone for further investigations into the benefits of the Internet in EFL classrooms and the integration of that technology into the classroom so as to examine more benefits of the Internet regarding how this technology facilitates EFL teaching and learning process.

 2.      What and How ICT in EFL

A teacher needs to have a plan; ask yourself what you are trying to achieve. Are you focusing on speaking, listening, reading, writing or some combination of the four skills? The plan can help you to prepare the suitable gadget in your teaching and learning process.

The next step is observing the condition of the class whether it is a large class and mixed-abilities class to decide the appropriate tools should be used. The last step is to take stock of the resources that you have available. There are some models of technology that students, teachers and the schools have or ask students to work together in small groups and share one tools that have the required capabilities.

 A.     Cell Phone

Nowadays it seems cell phone or mobile phone is used everywhere by everyone. How can cell phone technology support teaching and learning process in English as foreign language class?  The answer is ‘in a number of ways’

  1. Use the camera feature to take pictures of text and record the role play, drama, debate or discussion

ð  To record samples of the target language by taking picture or recording

ð  To take picture as one of the strategies used in motivating strategy

ð  To use the picture as a media to have presentation

 Use the program to be a dictionary and to find pronunciation of words

ð  To use dictionary program to get the meaning including how to pronounce the words

ð  To make them aware about the part of speech

 Use the text messaging feature to reinforce vocabulary learning

ð  To increase the chances of the students to remember words, especially for those that have several meaning in context for the students in every day life.

ð  To create fun way to learn vocabulary through game or message

 Use the text messaging feature for circular writing

ð  To involve students via SMS or update status in social networking regularly. If they are not ready for writing essay, they can practice with shorter texts to develop their writing skills. One activity is circular writing, where students create a story together by contributing one text message at one time. Each student writes a sentence or two and then sends this on to the next student, who adds another message and so on until the story is complete. The teacher copied and has a record of the story as it emerges. You can experiment with different text types such as narratives or shorter forms such as reports, instructions, and functional text.

 Use the text messaging feature for Tandem learning

ð  Tandem learning can encourage interactive writing. The activity is two students who wish to learn the language by exchange the text messages

A: [In a Chinese restaurant] what do you call again the two sticks as a spoon?

       B: Chopsticks!

   Use the mobile phone to keep a blog (with internet connection)

ð  The advanced writing activity of using mobile phone is keeping a blog. This is a great writing about personal experiences, places visited, and people they met, it also can be used as an activity to report information like journalists. This will increase the students’ confidence to write or give comment.

  Use the mobile phone for social networking (with internet connection)

ð  Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace are very popular social networking tools to allow groups of friends to meet, post messages, share pictures and interact online which most of the interaction takes place in writing, simply asking students to use English instead of their native languages and the teachers can actively use such sites to keep in touch with students or to organize activities online.

 Use mobile phone memory to distribute listening material

ð  Phones with memory for graphics, photos, and music that you can use to download listening material for your students that can in turn transfer them to students’ phones or other media.

 Use mobile phone memory to distribute reading material

ð  Similar to the listening idea above, we can download reading materials for students. As one example, you can ask students to take notes about the books while they are reading and discuss the books and their reflections the next meeting

 Use the mobile phone to play games

ð  There are many of the free games for mobile phones, such as scrabble and crossword puzzles that encourage students to engage with the target language, and to do so in the context of entertainment.

 Use the voice memo recorder, notes and calendar features to keep a portfolio

ð  Some students either do not enjoy or do not have discipline to keep a portfolio to reflect on their learning. Ask students to document their learning progress by using the notes and voice memo recording features and explain why it is important to have reflection of the lesson they have learned. Teachers can also encourage students to use the calendar feature or other productivity tool available on most phones to set goals, deadlines for assignments and reminders to rehearse material covered in class.

  Use the mobile phone to check student comprehension and get feed back

ð  Download free program www.polleverywhere.com that allows the teacher to pose survey questions for the students, students respond by texting their responses and the results show up immediately in a PowerPoint presentation. It is very useful for checking students’ comprehension and their opinions and very useful in larger classes where it is not easy to get feedback from all students.

 B.     Computer and or Laptop or Notebook or Tablet 

Computer has wider functions besides it is bigger in size also capacity, here are some functions of computer in English language teaching.

  1. a.              Programs in computer used for teaching
    1. Power point

ð  Presentation

ð  Power point games (racing, puzzle, crossword, etc.)

  1. Movie maker

ð  Making short movie or talk show

ð   Presentation or campaign

  1. PDF

ð  Writing a report

ð  Reading sources

DVD Player

ð  Motivating strategy

ð  Playing movie for the teaching and learning material or discussion

Winamp

ð  Motivating strategy

ð  Cooling down / ice breaking

ð  Listening

Words

ð  Writing or composing letter or message

ð  Providing reading text material for the students

Excel

ð  Helping learning about numbers or calculation

ð  Learning about instruction

b.      Internet

There are a lot of sources from internet that can be used by teachers to provide teaching materials and students to learn English. Some of them are:

  1. www.britishcouncil.com : sources of English teaching material for all level of the students
  2. www.youtube.com : sources of videos
  3. www.facebook.com : social networking
  4. www.blogsspot.com : social networking
  5. www.moodle.com : sources of teaching material
  6. www.flashmybrain.com : flash card
  7. www.apple.com/education/itunes-u : listening material
  8. htpp://librivox.org : audio books
  9. www.gutenberg.org : reading material
  10. www.polleverywhere.com free program that allows the teacher to pose survey questions for the students
  11. http://mobileactive.org : example of research and data collection, it can be used for the students to replicate similar projects on smaller scale or come up with the original research tasks
  12. www.onestopenglish.com : sources of teaching aids and strategy
  13. www.google.com, www.yahoo.com, www.detik.com, etc. : search engines of information
  14. http://www.nsta.org/ostbc : sources of books for teaching

  Actually not only those things, there are also some programs that we can use via internet. For example, Hot potato is for some vocabulary and comprehension games, Web Quest is for reading materials and reading comprehension activity, e-dialog journal is for writing activity, and many more. Those programs can create a lively and interactively teaching and learning process.

C.     LCD

For this modern era, we do not use OHP anymore, but LCD for present our material in teaching. Short for liquid crystal display, a type of display used in digital watches and many portable computers. LCD displays utilize two sheets of polarizing material with a liquid crystal solution between them. An electric current passed through the liquid causes the crystals to align so that light cannot pass through them. Each crystal, therefore, is like a shutter, either allowing light to pass through or blocking the light.

 The WHYs using LCD

  1. For big-size classes

ð  LCD can help teacher to accommodate the students to get across with the lesson. Big classes sometimes make students think they do not need to pay attention since it hard for them to look at the board or listen to the teacher. With the support of LCD, the teacher can make the students focus and understand the lesson. However, the teacher should place the LCD in the suitable place in order to really support the teaching and learning session smoothly.

For more interactive presentation or activities

ð  The students will feel enthusiastic if the lesson present attractively and interactively. They really want to be involved in the lesson and not just sit still all the time which make them bored. If they involve in the lesson, they can understand the lesson well.

For  minimizing teachers’ talking time

ð  If the teacher always talks all the time, the students will feel bored. Teacher should provide something or strategy in order to make his / her teaching interesting. With the support of LCD, the teacher can show the material or activities which can make him / her does not have to speak all the time.

D.    Smart Board

Smart board is another interactive board media that can attract students’ attention. The teacher is able to make some moving pictures and interactive words. Those things make learning fun and interactive and the students will not feel bored. Even, teacher can involve the students in the lesson through games or presentation or another activity.

E.     Television and Radio

Although already, it is “old fashion” according to some people, TV and radio are still helpful a lot. TV and radio can help students get information from the news, listen to song, watch movie, and many more.

Conclusion

It is fascinating that ICT can help us, especially teacher, to overcome some technical problem faced in English language class. It can support that has big class or mixed-ability. The developments of technology also contribute a lot in education, especially the access to get materials and teaching sources easily.  The creativities of the teacher are very important to integrate this in English language learning, classroom to achieve teaching and learning goals.

There are a lot of gadgets that the teacher can use in supporting teaching and learning sessions. Some of them, for example, are cell phone, computer, laptop, notebook, tablet, LCD, smart board, television and radio. So, from the oldest and simplest one to the most sophisticated one, all gadgets are beneficial for us.

References

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Korabiak, K. & Mete, N. (2004). ICT in the discipline of reading. In EDITORS Reading Team Term Project on teaching & learning in the digital age (pp 1-14). CITY, STATE: PUBLISHER
Reinders, H. (2010). Twenty ideas for using mobile phones in the language classroom. English Teaching Forum, 48(3), 20-25.


 

 

 

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