Technology in the foreign language classroom

Blended learning is a theory for the digital age, which generally means nothing but combining course-book based teaching with computer-based learning. Here is where technology steps in. The question is not whether but how we should use it.

  • How do we integrate technology into our classrooms?
  • Why are we using it?
  • How do we make it work well?
  • When do we use it?
  • Where do we start?

After all, we want pedagogy drive technology and not the other way round.

Film as a teaching tool

Film is a way of using technology effectively. It is a contextually rich and authentic text that supports self-directed learning. It brings culture into the language classroom, as well as a balance between language and content. Not less importantly, it  develops language learners’ visual literacy skills.

Visual Literacy refers to a group of vision-competencies a human being can develop by seeing and at the same time having and integrating other sensory experiences. The development of these competencies is fundamental to normal human learning. When developed, they enable a visually literate person to discriminate and interpret the visible actions, objects, symbols, natural or man-made, that he encounters in his environment. Through the creative use of these competencies, he is able to communicate with others. Through the appreciative use of these competencies, he is able to comprehend and enjoy the masterworks of visual communication. – John Debes, 1969

Using film in the foreign language classroom supports higher-order thinking skills and overall language proficiency.