For quite a few years now, technology has played a role in language education. From the early uses of tape recorders, the language laboratories of the 1970s, to current sophisticated apps, the development can be described as both rapid and very diversified. Research on computer-assisted language learning (CALL) is a vibrant field within the more general area of second language acquisition research. School administrators and politicians are quite often very keen proponents of implementing various forms of technology in schools, and the curricula and syllabi clearly state that technology should form a part of the pedagogical work.
Still many teachers struggle to find sensible and pedagogically motivated uses of all the technological resources available, and studies on classroom applications suggest that although technology is sometimes used on a rather wide and varying scale, it is not always done in a way that promotes learning. Currently, the term technology enhanced language learning (TELL) has been gaining ground, and the word enhanced is the interesting one here. How can teachers think, plan and instruct students in a way that enables a consistent and conscious use of technology? When is it appropriate to use technology? What added value does the use of technology bring to language teaching?
In this episode of Språklärarpodden Tore Nilsson talks to Una Cunningham, associate professor in language learning and teaching at the College of Education, University of Canterbury, New Zealand.