This week was so fruitful for me in many ways. First, I learned to bookmark the useful sites using Delicious.com. This is a wonderful site where I can store as much websites as possible that I will be using for my classroom purpose. This has reduced the list of sites on my browser.
Throughout the week, I went through different websites shared by the friends. The websites I went through were www.freerice.com, www.pajacyk.pl, http://www.esl-lab.com/bs1/bs1.htm, www.onestopenglish.com, www.downloadenglishnow.com, http://speaking24.com/tips.php, http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/pron/, http://www.esl-lab.com/trees/treerd1.htm, http://www.cctv.com, http://www.esl-lab.com/, http://www.bbc.co.uk., http://www.elllo.org, http://www.eslflow.com/brainstorming.html, http://www.english-4kids.com/,and http://www.real-english.com/reo/1/unit1.html. These websites provide various practical classroom activities and lesson plans for teaching aural/oral skill. What I learned during the week is that technology can provides a huge number of materials that we can adopt or adapt according to the need of our students and the objectives of lesson.
One of the exciting things I learned was culture from other countries like China and Poland. It was a great opportunity to learn each other’s culture while learning English.
During the week, some important issues emerged for further discussion. First, whether or not we should introduce local cultural texts while teaching English. Second, which material (live or recorded) is useful for teaching listening? Finally, there is also a question of authenticity i.e. whether we should use the native speakers’ voice or non-native speakers’ voice while teaching listening to the students. I think we teachers of English in the foreign language context should experiment these issues in our own contexts.
Regarding the role of technology for the development of listening, speaking or pronunciation skills, there is no doubt that it has provided many alternative materials to use in the classroom. There are different websites which can be used for free for the classroom purpose. Going through Hoopingarner (2009) and Lindsay (2003), I learned that technology has provided different authentic tools like radio, TV/videos, podcasts and CD-ROMs for listening and speaking classes. Moreover, students can self-practice with these materials at their home. Technology has also provided a variety of materials that we can use in our classroom or outside classroom. It has also helped us to create our own materials and enhance our professional skills.
However, there are many practical constraints to use technology in the classroom. During the week we also shared the problems of using technology in our own countries. We shared each others’ realities. In different parts of the world, still there is lack of electricity and computer in schools and universities. At the same time, both teachers and students are not aware of the value of technology in language teaching and learning. But in an optimistic note r there will be technology sooner or later. We must be ready for future to exploit a huge number of materials provided by technology. With this hope the third week ends.