In this article I would like to discuss why, when and how to use high tech tools that contribute to the success in our delivery of Spanish, ESL, French and the other foreign languages that we teach here in Dallas Texas.
My years of experience of IT consulting and training, teaching languages at the secondary level and teaching international business online at the university level have given me the knowledge and appreciation for technology in education.
By high technology, I do not mean just acquiring more computers to conduct classes the same way we have for the past 100 years, with 25 students in a classroom and a teacher in front of them, expecting every student to learn the same material, in the same classroom, at the same rate of speed and at the same hour of the day.
Technology is changing this model of learning very fast. I see it every day at my school and it is reflected in the success of all our foreign language students.
Some of the most important tools I will discuss are:
The Virtual School
The virtual school has no walls, no buildings, no geographic limits and no set schedules. It has no student capacity limits as it can enroll 2 students as well as 5,000 or more students.
The virtual school offers the virtual classroom with eLearning, learning at your pace, at your own schedule and from any place in the world. There is no need to dress up or arrange for child care. All you need is a time commitment, lots of enthusiasm, a wide band internet connection, and a good set of headphones.
Foreign language students can come from the local neighborhood in Frisco, Texas other cities in the same State, the same country and from anywhere in the world. They can take their Spanish or French classes at 6 am in the morning, at 10 pm at night or at any time in between the 24 hours of the day.
Web 2.0 a term quoted 15 years ago gives foreign language learning the most readily available tools and all of them for free or at a very little cost. Videos, wikis, blogs and social networking sites such as Facebook are all part of Web 2.0. We use Facebook and other social media to communicate with our students in very secure, students only, web pages.
Social media sites like our Facebook page “World Language Schools en Español” allows us to form learning communities where we can assign lessons and materials and interact with our students at any time. Our “YouTube channel” gives us the ability to integrate videos into our lessons. Our teachers also use Web 2.0 media tools to contact and communicate with students with other countries and cultures thus making the learning experience truly global and multicultural
The Flipped Classroom
One of the most innovative changes in education is blended learning. Blended learning means the student learns from a face to face with the teacher as well as an Online – eLearning scenario which is under the complete control of the student. For example we assign lessons to our students and they can take these lessons online at their own time, advancing at their own rate and adding more material if they choose to do so. Once a week we meet face to face with a small class and we practice our pronunciation and apply the concepts learned. The independence of this method also give the student the ability to choose videos, blogs and any other material available online. This methodology gives us the time that we would spend lecturing in completing meaningful exercises, asking questions and receiving feedback
No it is not “Bring Your Own Date” to the class. It is “Bring Your Own Device” to the class. Used in schools K-12 or Kindergarten to 12th grade , these schools are saving significant amounts by not having to buy computers, or wait for tablet carts to be available for check out by the teachers. Large savings are also accrue by not having to buy books and other written materials. Foreign language material is available in digital format, in full color and in more abundance in multimedia format such as video, audio and text.
“CALL” FOR FOREIGN LANGUAGE LEARNING
CALL is the acronym for “Computer Aided Language Learning”. It is the high tech side of foreign language learning. To learn Spanish, English as a Second Language or any other language we now have the computer and voice recognition to help us with pronunciation. Yes we do have a computer telling us where we need to improve in our speaking skills. Voice recognition technology has evolved to the stage where the computer recognizes your voice and can tell your accent, and even hold a conversation with you. We at World Language Schools use the “Tell Me More” CALL system and we have extensive research to conclude that our students have access to the best voice recognition technology available today
About World Language Schools
World Language Schools is an Educational Institution dedicated to serving language students of all ages
Our mission is to teach you a second or third language so you can communicate with people and cultures of the world. We want for your career to advance and for you to have friends and business partners in many parts of the globe