The Benefits of Using Technology in ESL Classroom

Technology in ESL classroomIn today’s educational world, the availability of technology for the classroom provides our teachers with the capability to substantially enhance their pupils’ cognitive and language building skills.

SEE ALSO: Opportunities in Virtual Classroom

Unfortunately, far too often available technology is simply not used in ESL classrooms today; and even when it is used, it is often not used effectively.  More training is required in order to provide models and to encourage the effective uses of technology.

Educators should understand that if they employ technology in their classroom that is similar to the technology students use at home, their teaching job will be easier.

Jump To The Present – For Their Future

It is incredible to note the astounding number of ESL teachers who still use the conventional style of teaching through lectures, pencils and paper – just as was the case during pre-high-tech days.  Schools and universities must come to recognize that using technology in the ESL classroom is a forward-moving practice that motivates and inspires students.

Using technology in the classroom, we engage the students’ attention by allowing them to simulate real-world experiences as well as gain relevant knowledge through visual learning.

This captures and holds students’ attention in every aspect of learning.  At the same time, it will sharpen their modern-age computer skills.  It is imperative that learning institutions jump to the present.  Doing so will propel students to their future.

Teach Attitudes to Technology – Not Just Hands-On Technology

using technology in ESL classroomTechnology is a powerful tool in the classroom.  ESL educators spend too little time instructing students on the use of certain technology.  To remedy this situation, teachers should be positioned not only as facilitators, but also as students’ co-learners.

Society and social media have taken care of shifting the conventional class paradigm where the student is the learner, and the teacher is wearing the hat that says “expert.”

In today’s ever evolving world of technology, we actually are all learners as well as teachers.  The sooner teachers understand this, the more at ease and effective they will be in a technology-based classroom.  There is much success when teachers take on not only the role of guide but also that of learner, acquiring new knowledge and skills along with their students.

It is no secret that many tenured teachers, especially those close to retirement, have probably been suffering from techno-phobia.  Teachers need to show they have moved beyond this attitude and that they have embraced the students’ orientation to technology.

Current technology makes the ESL teachers’ and students’ lives easier, both in and out of the classroom.  Using technology allows student learners to problem solve, create, collaborate and research, and it gives them the ability to interact on a worldwide scale.  When students use technology as a learning tool as well as an interactive communication device, they are no longer taking a passive role in learning.

Learning ESL Online

As a final point, there is a very exciting opportunity for a certain group of students to use all the aforementioned technologies.  We are talking specifically about international students.  Whether using an English learning software program or an online English learning method, using technology has its benefits.

Learning English as a second language (ESL) in a conventional classroom means all students must crawl along at the same pace in class.  However, if you are ahead of everyone then you might become bored.  Computer programs and resources allow students to progress at a comfortable speed – quickly or slowly, depending on their level of proficiency.  This allows the ESL learner to spend extra time on the sections where they require additional help.  This important group of learners now has the opportunity to learn English more efficiently through the use of computers!

How about you? Are there any apps you like to use in classroom?

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