Technology in Language Learning

February 15, 2017

Image source : Ben Timney

Written By : Ame Rukwongsa

 

Technology has been a boon to many areas of our lives and learning a language is no different. Things like computers and smartphones can help kids these days acquire new language skills via apps, Skype calls and technology-enabled social meet ups. In this article we give you the low down on using technology to help children learn a new language:

 

1. Anywhere and everywhere:

One of the best things about this new form of learning is its mobility and convenience. To learn a language in the 21 st century, you don’t have to force little ones sit down at a desk for two hours each night. Instead, download one of the many available apps and let them practice when you’re out and about – on long car journeys, for example, or while waiting in line at the grocery store.

 

2. Use the Internet to arrange meetups IRL:

For the non-tech savvy amongst us, ‘IRL’ means “in real life”. Another great thing about technology is that it can connect people near each other with similar interests who might not otherwise have been able to meet. Use social networking sites to connect and arrange group meet ups with others parents and children who want to learn a language. Be innovative in your activities; try taking a group on a bus tour and asking them to name everything you see in the new language. Alternatively, you could organise a scavenger hunt: write down a list in the new language of things for your party to find. You can make this harder by insisting that during the scavenger hunt everyone only communicates in the target language, too!

 

3. Language exchanges:

Technology’s great asset is that it opens up other worlds from the comfort of your front room, and this is a very useful quality for language learning. You can register on websites that connect people looking for language exchange partners. These can be written – involving emails or texts – or over the phone using a video call system like Skype. Find a parent/child duo with a kid around the same age who wants to learn the language you’re fluent in, and who speaks the language your child wants to learn. Then let the children natter on about anything and everything (under supervision!) until their language skills are up to scratch.

 

4. ‘Gamification’ and social learning tools:

To make it more fun, language learning companies have started ‘gamifying’ their apps, meaning hard work is made more engaging with game-like features. These might include winning points or online prizes for learning new words or grammar rules. Children love this kind of incentive, and it makes the whole experience more fun.

There are lots of innovative ways of using technology to learn languages. Harnessing these new and exciting tools will help them to improve their skills in no time.

  • Image source : Ben Timney

    Written By : Ame Rukwongsa

    Technology has been a boon to many areas of our lives and learning a language is no different. Things like computers and smartphones can help kids these days acquire new language skills via apps, Skype calls and technology-enabled social meet ups. In this article we give you the low down on using technology to help children learn a new language:

    1. Anywhere and everywhere:

    One of the best things about this new form of learning is its mobility and convenience. To learn a language in the 21 st century, you don’t have to force little ones sit down at a desk for two hours each night. Instead, download one of the many available apps and let them practice when you’re out and about – on long car journeys, for example, or while waiting in line at the grocery store.

    2. Use the Internet to arrange meetups IRL:

    For the non-tech savvy amongst us, ‘IRL’ means “in real life”. Another great thing about technology is that it can connect people near each other with similar interests who might not otherwise have been able to meet. Use social networking sites to connect and arrange group meet ups with others parents and children who want to learn a language. Be innovative in your activities; try taking a group on a bus tour and asking them to name everything you see in the new language. Alternatively, you could organise a scavenger hunt: write down a list in the new language of things for your party to find. You can make this harder by insisting that during the scavenger hunt everyone only communicates in the target language, too!

    3. Language exchanges:

    Technology’s great asset is that it opens up other worlds from the comfort of your front room, and this is a very useful quality for language learning. You can register on websites that connect people looking for language exchange partners. These can be written – involving emails or texts – or over the phone using a video call system like Skype. Find a parent/child duo with a kid around the same age who wants to learn the language you’re fluent in, and who speaks the language your child wants to learn. Then let the children natter on about anything and everything (under supervision!) until their language skills are up to scratch.

    4. ‘Gamification’ and social learning tools:

    To make it more fun, language learning companies have started ‘gamifying’ their apps, meaning hard work is made more engaging with game-like features. These might include winning points or online prizes for learning new words or grammar rules. Children love this kind of incentive, and it makes the whole experience more fun.

    There are lots of innovative ways of using technology to learn languages. Harnessing these new and exciting tools will help them to improve their skills in no time.

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