Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Week 2: Current trends on ICT in ELT

International and national contexts
There are many international organizations that are concerned in the teaching of English through the use of New Technologies, such as the European Association for Computer Assisted Language Learning (EUROCALL), the Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO), the International Association for Language Learning Technology (IALLT) and the Japan Association for Language Education and Technology (LET), among others.
In Latin America, there are also some organizations which concerned themselves with the teaching of English through ICT, such as, Latin Call in Mexico, Arcall in Argentina, and Avealmec in Venezuela, among others.

My local Context
I have been a witness of how the School of Modern Languages of the Universidad Central de Venezuela has been updating their ICT resources, first as a student from 1993 to 1998 and then as an English teacher since I graduated. The ICT resources I could have never imagined to have as a student are now available for my students. The School of Modern Languages has two labs and a library with computers and Internet access where students can do their homework or surf the net as they please. Recently I had the opportunity to give three lessons one after the other in one of the computer labs. I showed my students a PowerPoint presentation about the US Civil War, and then I gave them some questions and told them to look for their answers searching the net using different engines, such as yahoo.com, google.com, and answers.com. The experience was very satisfying. As teachers, we can not turn a blind eye to ICT, we have to make use of it to our own advantage.

My ICT project in the School of Modern Languages
Although I teach history, literature and culture of the USA, Britain and the Caribbean, I have been concerning myself during the last two years with the teaching of idiomatic expressions. My students will be translators, interpreters or researchers; therefore, I would like to create a Wiki aimed at my second- and third-year students where I will post information about learning idiomatic expressions. I think this Wiki will be a big contribution not only to my students but to the whole school because idiomatic expressions are not taught on a regular basis; on the contrary, students have to learn them by mistake when translating idiomatic expressions from Spanish into English or out of their own curiosity.

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