Language Learning and Technology: An Implementation Plan
This Statement of Philosophy reflects my thinking about how technology can be used to further the goals of language education. It was written in response to a request from my school disctrict, Grosse Pointe Public Schools, to articulate a five year plan for technology implementation. It has since been adopted as our department vision statement.
This statement is based upon the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) standards.
I would like to thank Maria Kourouvasilis, Robert Abel and Bonnie Middeldorf (Grosse Pointe Public Schools) for reading the initial drafts. I would also like to thank the Modern and Classical Language Department for their cutting and clever editing suggestions.
Modern and Classical Language Department
Middle School Foreign Language Department
Second language learning focuses on the four skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing, interwoven with the study of the cultures in which those languages are spoken. We view effective implementation of technology-assisted learning as an integral part of our instructional program, through which students can improve all their language skills.
Audio, video and computer-assisted technologies provide essential opportunities for our program to help students:
Implementation of audio, video and computer-assisted technologies assist us in this mission when they:
Within the next five years...
The Modern and Classical Language Department and Middle School Foreign Language Department will continue to expand our implementation of technology-assisted learning. At the middle school level, language classes will have shared access to multimedia sign-up lab(s) with authoring tools and Internet access. At the high school level, North and South will have a multimedia lab for language class use, in addition to a traditional audio-cassette based lab.
As a result of an implemented technology plan, students in this department will be able to...
As a result of an implemented technology plan, teachers in this department
will be able to...
Down the road...
An ideal foreign language learning environment would be an integrated multimedia lab and classroom that would combine elements of a traditional classroom, a multimedia PC lab, and a production studio. The classroom would have tables and computer carrels. It would include a delivery system to facilitate whole class instruction and demonstration that could accommodate audio (CD, cassette, records), video (laserdisc/VCR), and networked PC inputs.
Open-ended language use
It would be a production-rich environment in which students could produce their own records of their language study and use (e.g. audio tapes, videos, computer-driven multimedia projects). Production tools for this environment would include video cameras, stereo equipment, multimedia support such as scanners, multimedia authoring software, clip-art libraries, graphics programs, and PCs with headphones, microphones, and cameras (e.g. ZapShot or Quicktake). The lab would have a CD-ROM press so that student work could be easily archived and shared.
Language Specific Issues
These multipurpose production tools would be supplemented by software addressing language specific issues (i.e. grammar, pronunciation, aural language comprehension, etc.) Beyond system software, students would have access to a "multimedia library" with which they could read (i.e. explore) multimedia literature in the target language.
Communicating with Technology
Usage of the Internet will be an integral part of future language learning environments. Students will communicate in their language of study with native speakers within the US and around the world using technologies ranging from electronic mail, to Real Audio/Internet Phone to CU-SeeMe Video.
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