Thursday, 4 September 2008

Using technology for self-study in language learning

How easily do students apply their ICT skills in an EFL context? In session 1 Malgorzata Kurek made an interesting presentation of data from 96 Polish 2nd year students majoring in English as a foreign language. Apart from having advanced English skills, these students also considered themselves advanced computer users.

You would think that students of higher education would be self-directed learners and be mature enough to take opportunities to learn on their own. However, the results show that they rarely took the opportunity of using English in ICT contexts. Students sometimes or rarely used English web sites and when it came to online possibilities such as creating blogs and podcasts, they didn’t use English in any of these situations , text chatting was performed entirely in Polish. Interesting enough, there was a discrepancy between their beliefs and their actual practice. An interesting question raised was if it would be possible to make students become less passive and instead seek opportunities for learning?

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