Teaching with Tech
Report: Innovating World Language Education Through Technology
apps, online platforms and other technologies are transforming world
language education programs by "creating more dynamic, interactive
experiences that expose students to the nuances of languages and
cultures," according to a new report from the New Media Consortium (NMC). The role of technology in innovating language education is being driven by pedagogical trends and challenges.
The report, "Innovating Language Education: An NMC Horizon Project Strategic Brief," was commissioned by the Language Flagship Technology Innovation Center
(LFTIC) at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. It identifies trends and
challenges affecting language education as well as developments in
technology for language education. It concludes with a list of five
recommendations for improving language education through the use of
technology and pedagogical approaches. The goal of the collaboration
between NMC and LFTIC is to "scale up" LFTIC's programs to help
students "achieve superior levels of world language proficiency while
also becoming more culturally aware, global citizens," according to
information from NMC.
“The task of innovating language
education goes far beyond bolstering students’ grammar and vocabulary
skills,” said Samantha Adams Becker, senior director of the NMC Horizon
Project and lead writer of the report, in a prepared statement.
Students also need to develop "a deep understanding of the cultural,
business, and other contexts associated with world languages."
According to the report, those goals can be achieved with the help of
open educational resources, online and blended learning, mobile
technology and other developments in education and technology.
Key recommendations from the report include:
- Integrate design thinking into curricula to challenge learners to develop human-centered solutions to global issues;
- Build smart partnerships between government, administration and practitioners from different institutions;
- Enhance the user experience by designing effective online learning environments;
- Use collaborative tools to foster more authentic interactions in the target language in natural settings; and
- Adopt data-driven approaches to determine which instructional approaches and content are effective.
full report, "Innovating Language Education: An NMC Horizon Project
Strategic Brief," is available as a free, downloadable PDF on the NMC's site.
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].