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E-learning and learning languages

E-learning presents a multitude of opportunities that support increasing student achievement in learning languages through:

  • assisting the making of connections by enabling students to enter and explore new learning environments, overcoming barriers of distance and time
  • facilitating shared learning by enabling students to join or create communities of learners that extend well beyond the classroom
  • assisting in the creation of supportive learning environments by offering resources that take account of individual, cultural, or developmental differences
  • enhancing opportunities to learn by offering students virtual experiences and tools that save them time, allowing them to take their learning further.

(The New Zealand Curriculum)

E-learning in languages (ELL projects)

Over a period of three years, 200 teachers were given Ministry of Education funding and the support of learning languages advisors to investigate the impact of e-learning on the language learning of their students. The teaching as inquiry cycle in The New Zealand Curriculum was used as a framework for these investigations.

The following is an example from one of these projects, showing how e-learning has helped improve language learning outcomes. For a selection of reports on other projects, see the Learning Languages community on TKI.

Using video recording to promote use of fillers in Spanish interactions

Students recorded role plays on video. After reviewing the videos with their teacher, they noticed low levels of fluency and little or no use of such natural linguistic features as gestures or fillers.

YouTube clips and DVDs were then used in a series of lessons designed to focus attention on the features of interactions. Students then re-recorded the role plays, incorporating their new learning.

What the students said

"Using the video camera we made a heaps of recordings. We were able to correct our mistakes and pronunciation."

"It helped us to see where we needed to add in more things to make us sound more like native speakers."

"It showed me what I could improve on, like speaking more like a native speaker for the next time."

What the teacher said

"Since doing this research I have also started using Audacity to record students’ voices, because as a result of this project, I observed the value of students hearing themselves to increase their confidence, fluency, and motivation."

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Last updated May 20, 2016