We are living in a world which has come closer with the use of information and technology. Twenty first century is an age of information and communication technology. Today’s world is a world of knowledge and invention. The growth of technology has touched almost everything in the world and changed the course of our life. Life has become much easy and comfortable with the addition of information and technology to our lives. Information and communication technology has also influenced teaching and learning field. The new concepts and teaching techniques have entered into teaching field. The students of this age demand something new in the process of teaching and learning. They can get any information at their fingertips with the help of internet. They can easily enter into the treasure of knowledge with their mobile phones, computers, laptops, tabs having internet connections. Google and wide range of learning apps have provided an opportunity to gather knowledge from any sources available on the internet. Present paper focuses its attention on discussing how e-learning, technological resources and multimedia can be used in teaching and learning process of language.
This is the age in which one can demand for the smart class rooms with all multimedia and technological facilities for teaching and learning process. Teaching in this age demands more than age long concept of traditional teaching methods. E-learning and e-education has become need of the day. The entry of e-learning in the field of education has changed the way of teaching learning process. It doesn’t mean that teachers are no more required. Only thing is that a shift has come in the role of teachers and now they have to become facilitators in the era of e-education. The responsibility of a teacher in the present context is to become innovative, creative and resourceful while teaching his students using innovative teaching techniques made available by the technology. The wide range of technological resources has made us much more equipped and smart as a facilitator. Teaching learning process has become pretty much motivating and student friendly with the entry of technological resources. With the use of multimedia and various technological resources teaching and learning process can be made more thought-provoking and valuable. As Gousie states:
In the fast moving world, a variety of new technologies have appeared on the scene. No larger we swept by a wave of methodology; we were swamped by tidal wave of computer assisted technologies. Suddenly the capability of incorporating laserdiscs, hypertext cards, CDs, CD-ROMS and the internet into our syllabi became a reality. (New Methods and Tools for Teaching Foreign Language 9)
Audio-visual aids provide direct sensory experience
Audio-visual aids are important to make teaching and learning process more attention-grabbing. These aids are helpful in retaining the interest of students. These aids provide direct sensory experience to the students. These aids can be made more effective by adding them with the e-learning tools. These aids can be divided as under A) Audio Aids: these teaching aids provide access to the use of audio tools. B) Visual Aids: these aids are used to give visual experiences to the students. C) Audio-Visual Aids: these aids are helpful in providing complete sensory experience to the students. Visual aids help in seeing and understanding the things. Audio aids provide help in hearing exercises and audio-visual aids are combination of both. These aids provide perfect understanding to the students giving direct sensory experience to them. Such audio-visual aids contain TV, video, radio, overhead projector, tape-recorder, graphics, charts, pictures, photographs, flannel boards, bulletin boards, PPT, slides, strips, graphs, CD, DVD etc. Combine use of these things in the classroom increases the interest of the students. Teaching and learning of language becomes more easy and interesting due to ICT. These audio-visual tools added with the e-learning materials make teaching and learning process more effective and fruitful.
Multimedia: a crucial tool in E-learning
As we know almost every kind of information is available on internet. One can get reading material, audio clips, videos, MOODLE classes, distant learning classes, access to the lectures of best teachers in the best universities of the world, appear for online exams and many more such things with the help of use of multimedia in teaching-learning field. Multimedia is the combination of various digital and audio-visual media. It is combination of number of digital media such as text, images, sound and video (multisensory interactive application) to convey a message or information to audience. A good teacher uses some tools other than texts and reference books to make his teaching more effective. The use of technological resources in teaching learning becomes more interesting for the students. One can remember more and more things when one sees, hears and performs something at the same time. Learning through experience gives the maximum results in understanding the topic under study. The topics we learn through experience linger long in our memory. Multimedia is an effective tool which provides us strong sensory experience for lifelong learning. As Prof. Lindstrom says:
People remember 20% of what they hear 40% of what they see and hear and 75% of what they see, hear and do simultaneously. (The Business Week Guide to Multimedia Presentations: 1994)
Need of Multimedia language labs and smart classrooms
The science laboratories are necessary in the schools and colleges. In the same way every school and college should have its own language labs and smart classrooms. Smart classrooms provide complete learning experience to the students. One can create a visual learning environment in the class with the help of smart classroom tools. Along with the smart classrooms, every college and school can prepare and maintain their own multi-media language lab for better teaching and learning of language. The multi-media language lab should focus on sound, text images, videos, animation and interesting context that can be created and accessed from electronic devices such as computer, MP3 Players, Cell phones, TV, Video, Tape recorder and iPods. These language labs should have direct access to the internet so that valuable material related to teaching learning process can be made available in the schools under one roof. Multi-media language lab also helps in development of four language related skills – listening, speaking, writing and reading.
- Listening: Listening is the first step in the process of language learning. A child starts listening and responding to the various sound right from his existence in mother’s womb. Listening rhymes, poems, recorded lectures, extracts from novels; dramas can prove helpful in enhancing the listening abilities of the students. By watching and listening to movies and dramas student can better learn the language.
- Speaking: Speaking is the second step in language learning process. After listening and receipting various sounds from the environment a child starts reciprocating them. Speaking can be improved with the help of multi-media language lab by involving students in group discussions, talk-shows, speaking individually on any given topic, extempore speech and debate sessions and other such sessions organized in the lab.
- Writing: Writing is third and next step in the process of language learning. ICT can be much beneficial to the students to enhance their writing skills. Social networking sites, blogs, web-sites can provide students an opportunity to write and express their own thought which will improve their writing skills. Whats-App and Face book have earned prominent place in the life of youngsters now a days. Students can be inspired to write and share their thoughts in English through these mediums.
- Reading: Reading is the last step in the process of language learning. All the treasure from the books of the best libraries around the world is available online now a days. Online books and e-journals will enhances the reading habits of students and increase their interest in English language and literature. Thus multi-media language lab can provide students all the facilities regarding audio-visual aids needed for teaching learning process of English language. Thus language lab can be beneficial in developing four basic skills of language learning.
Combination of technological resources with the traditional methods
E-education or e-learning, beyond doubt is the need of present time. A teacher cannot make justice to his teaching without using innovative techniques in teaching and learning process. Being a language teacher he should use various new techniques available for the teaching of the subject. This does not mean that the traditional methods of teaching and learning of language are outdated and one should not use them. A proper combination of both the methods is needed. One should make the proper combination of technological resources with the traditional methods of teaching and learning of English language. While using technological resources in teaching and learning process one should also exercise a little caution and learn where to use it and up to what extent. As Breen remarks:
Technology provides considerable opportunities for interesting and significant developments in language teaching and learning. While this may be as view commonly held by the general public, one should perhaps exercise a little caution. In fact it is arguable that technology can be both a catalyst and retardant for new developments. (Learner’s Contribution to Task Design 23-46)
Change is the only constant process in this world. Understanding the needs of current age; a teacher should bring change in his teaching techniques. One has to change according to the needs of the time. Teaching and learning of language also demands change. This change can be brought with the use of e-education, multimedia and technological resources in teaching and learning process. Understanding the need of e-education one has to adapt the new methods of teaching and learning. Thus the appropriate use of various e-education methods, technological resources and multimedia in teaching and learning of language can make teaching and learning process more effective and meaningful.
- Breen, M.P., Learner’s Contribution to Task Design, Language Learning Tasks: Vol. 7, London: Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1987. Print.
- Gousie, L., New Methods and Tools for Teaching Foreign Languages, T.H.E. Journal 25 (9), 1998. Print.
- Lindstram, R., The Business Week Guide to Multimedia Presentations: Create Dynamic Presentations that Inspire, New York, McGrow Hill, 1994. Print.