Technology has transformed the way we work and live, and the way we learn hasn’t been left out either. Not only can it provide even more learning opportunities, but it can increase student engagement and enjoyment of learning. So, as our society continues to become even more digitally focussed, we look at how tech can help you if you’re learning another language.
Technology can enhance learning environments
When we think about learning, we tend to think about classrooms, textbooks and whiteboards littered with formulas. But technology has turned this on its head – in a good way. Students can now choose where they want to learn – be it at home, in school, or on the move – and when.
That’s not the only flexibility either. Whether you’re looking to learn how to cook, pick up a new musical skill or even learn French, you now have a choice over how you learn. Perhaps you prefer in-person tutoring, or maybe you find it easier to use connected devices and online tools. Either way, you can now choose to study and learn whatever suits you and your learning style best. For some, absorbing yourself into the culture is one way to pick up the language, while others will look for tutors to help support their learning efforts.
This choice and self-decision making can cause even more efficiency and enjoyment with the task at hand, too.
It can connect students to the real world
Using technology when learning means you can access videos, sound clips and images from across the world – which are crucially important for language learning. For example, you might find it easier to pick up on certain pronunciation and emphasis after listening to a video – compared to if you just read a book and take notes.
What’s more, you might find voice recognition technology a useful tool when studying for an upcoming exam. Not only is it a great way to hear first-hand how certain words and phrases should be communicated, but it’s a quick and easy way to correct anything that you’re currently getting wrong.
It benefits motivation and engagement
Active learning is when you are engaged through interactive activities and tools, discussions and other methods like role play. This is exactly what technology can do, in contrast to textbook learning, which is called passive learning. Plus, the benefits of active learning are undeniable.
Typically, when you take part in active learning, you’ll be more motivated and inspired – inside and outside of learning – and creative thinking is also sparked. What’s more, active learning can make students more likely to revise in their own time and technology can enhance this even more – by making it easy to do so, wherever you wish.
It’s part of our daily habits
Just think about how often you use technology in your daily lifestyle. Perhaps you peruse social media or other apps with your morning coffee. Or maybe your idea of downtime after work is reading online newspapers. Either way, if you already use technology frequently, you may be more inclined to practise your language learning if you can do so with technology.
Also, your morning scroll of social media can easily be repealed with 15 minutes of language revision. And, you’re more likely to enjoy it rather than trying to find an hour every week to study with books.
It makes learning fun
Let’s face it – whether or not we want to learn something new, there are some days when we would all prefer to sit back and do nothing. But using technology can make learning fun – and this will only enhance your learning further.
From ebooks and animations to educational games and presentations, technology makes it easy to access a whole range of multimedia resources. One study even found that there isn’t a single approach to teaching that suits students best – therefore, highlighting the importance of varied teaching methods and learning styles.
Of course, whatever you’re trying to learn, you might find that technology isn’t the best tactic. For this reason, it can be worthwhile spending some time trying out different approaches. Only then can you ensure that you’re fully engaged and your learning is on a path to success.