Computers in language development for second language learners: The students' views
Maria Guadalupe Pacheco, New Mexico State University, United States
New Mexico State University . Awarded
The impact of technology on education has increased dramatically in recent years. Students are now expected to use computer technology for certain aspects of their education. The uses of technology range from drill and practice to creativity applications. But the Internet poses greater challenges for teachers and students.
Technology is now regarded as a necessity, not a luxury, in public schools. All Texas graduating seniors must conduct research on the Internet, document what they research, and present the results of their research via a multimedia software package. Teachers use the Internet to explain concepts of documentation, citation, and plagiarism. The uses of technology by teachers and students will change as technology continues to change.
This study focused on six elementary bilingual education students (Grades 4, 5, and 6), who were interviewed as they used technology to create projects in language learning. These students were relatively new to the United States; thus, their use of computers and their use of the English language were both very limited.
The teacher in this study and her aide did not have extensive experience with technology. They learned about technology along with the students.
The voices of the children make this study special. The students analyzed their learning through technology and verbalized how they viewed technology as motivator for learning language. Views of their parents and grandparents, as well as the teacher were also considered.
Studies that focus on the educational impact of technology on students traditionally look at pretests/posttests to show academic gains or lack thereof through use of technology. Instead, this study focused on students' views of what they saw happening as they used technology. The stories reflected growth as a result of the impact of technology in a variety of ways.
The patterns that resulted from listening to the children and their parents were inspiring. The researcher was touched by the families and their lives and was intrigued by the students and their needs, experiences, and stories.
Pacheco, M.G. Computers in language development for second language learners: The students' views. Ph.D. thesis, New Mexico State University.
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