Ict In The Modern Foreign Language Mfl Education Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

It is evident that the government supports the use of ICT in classrooms since the government has provided funding to promote ICT in education as a method of raising standards and in 1998 the government founded the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA) with the aim to help facilitate the introduction and advancement of ICT into classrooms. Although, in 2011 BECTA had to be closed because money needed to be saved, parts of BECTA still run which shows the government still sees the need to teach pupils with ICT. According to Sutherland et al (2008), in 2006, on average there was one computer for 3.6 students in secondary schools in the UK and that interactive whiteboards became a feature in classrooms. With regards to ICT in the MFL classroom, ICT is included in the MFL curriculum as a source for learning and the Teaching Agency has issued a document providing a collection of on-line resources relating to teaching MFL which show that ICT is to be included in MFL.

According to Sutherland, Roberson and John (2008) young people exhibit a higher level of engagement and more positive attitudes to learning where ICT is incorporated. Moreover, pupils gain motivation through using computers in lessons because they feel less threatened and therefore take more risks and are more spontaneous (Hess, 2011). ICT can improve motivation because the pace of the lesson is improved and changes of activities are quicker (Fisher, 2009). However, Buckland (2000) argues that ICT can not just be used to motivate pupils it should only be used if it is appropriate. In order for ICT to enhance learning it has to support and extend pupils' language learning that could not be done with other methods or resources. Wachtel (2012p.11) agrees that ICT is motivational for pupils' because being in an ICT suite creates a change in the learning environment but suggests if ICT is used all the time then the novelty and excitement will wear off and therefore will no longer motivate students. Fisher (2009) notes that you have to book the computer suite and the timetabling of the ICT suite can lead the teaching to feeling coerced into using technology

Including ICT is not sufficient. Teachers are the key for effective learning (Sutherland et al 2008).

Teachers should select the resources they think best suit there objectives (Buckland, 2000).

Lack of access to computer rooms is a major problem.

I have observed teachers not using ICT was just as effective. Relect on the difference it makes are students more motivated?

The Equality Act (2010) makes it clear that all teachers in a school are responsible in helping pupils with SEN to overcome any barriers in participating and learning in the classroom, and therefore make any reasonable adjustments needed in lesson planning to include SEN pupils. Since teachers have to deal with a range of learners in the classroom they have to differentiate work which means providing learners with different activities to support the variety of learning styles. It is the teacher's responsibility to supply the right learning experiences to help the learners achieve their full potential (Pachler et al, 2009). According to Dugard and Hewer ( 2003) ICT can support pupils with a variety of special needs as there are specialist software and hardware available for pupils with severe needs. Furthermore, ICT can support pupils with visual impairment by changing he colour of the background or font size and Microsoft Word can support pupils who have difficulty with handwriting.

Holmes (1996) states that pupils with difficulties with handwriting can produce work of the same quality as their peers. Using ICT also removes the embarrassment of poor handwriting and spelling according to Barton (2006). According to a BBC article (2012), using ICT spellcheckers have created an "auto-correct generation". People are unable to spell many common words. This could also have a negative effect on pupils if they use ICT. Some pupils' may not be able to type as fast as other students and therefore can take longer to do tasks (Wachtel, p.11 2012).

Can't get access to computers

Talk about the boy who cant even write the date have to give him vocab sheet

There are not enough computers in school, however, with PowerPoint etc this supports their learning. Teacher prints out a copy of vocab. One girl I have to make font size bigger.

Hawkes (2009) believes that with the use of PowerPoint teachers' can prepare the lesson well in advance and therefore the lesson is less stressful and teaching is more effortless. Using PowerPoint less time is spent writing on the board so there is more time for the teacher to deal with individual pupils needs as they arise during the lesson (Hawkes, 2009). In the past, particularly when teaching new vocabulary, teachers used flashcards. PowerPoint is more efficient since teachers no longer have to juggle countless flashcards and the screen enables all pupils to see in the class (Hewer and Dugard 2003). PowerPoint appeals to all learners: visual, auditory and kinaesthetic

According to Pachler, Barnes and field (2009), when using ICT you should always have a 'Plan B'in case there are problems with the equipment. If a teacher plans a lesson on PowerPoint and there is a technical problem so the teacher unable to use the PowerPoint. Pupils' still need to be taught

A great advantage of using ICT in the MFL classroom is the internet. The internet has a range of resources that can be integrated into learning a MFL. In an OFSTED report (2004), it was stated that through the use of relevant and up-to date internet sites pupils' knowledge and understanding of the countries, communities and living conditions of target language speakers can be improved. For pupils to understand language and its purpose, an awareness and knowledge of culture are important, according to Pachler et al (2009). Blyth (2009) suggests a method in which pupils' can learn about other cultures is by watching videos on-line and this is also an opportunity for them to hear vocabulary. Pachler et al (2009) state that this is really motivating for pupils and suggest YouTube as a way of providing interesting insights into cultures. I have observed how the internet is used to provide cultural awareness and to enable pupils' to become aware of the difference in their customs and traditions to another country. At Halloween, the teacher showed a clip from youtube about how Halloween is celebrated in Mexico which is known as the day of the dead in Mexico. The clip was around 5 minutes long and afterwards pupils had to answer questions relating to the clip. I observed that this provided pupils with information.

The internet brings more authentic material into the classroom to engage pupils and make their learning experiences more real. Wyld and Eklund (1997) argue that the Internet gives pupils access to a great amount of information and resources that they may not have been available in schools previously, so pupils are able to find out information without teachers help. However, according to Hess (2011) secondary students are not mature enough or have the time management skills to use the internet for significant periods of time. Pupils can access sites unrelated to MFL that the teacher has set therefore, good management is needed otherwise it is inconsistent and ineffective ICT (hhhkjh). Also, when using the internet, pupils can be faced with irrelevant, unclear and inaccurate information. This can lead to poor decision making, reduced attention span and difficulties in memorizing identified by Philip Brey (2006).

I have observed that in my placement there is a lack of computers available for pupils' therefore, it is very rare when computers are included in the lesson. There are a range of laptops available but they have to be booked in advance. When pupils access the internet they kept to task. Was to find out about the Eifel tower. Many websites such as Facebook are blocked so pupils can't access it in school. The teacher walked around the class to check that pupils were on task.

The internet provides an opportunity not only for pupils' to learn about the culture but also to improve their language skills as they are able to communicate with native speakers for example, via e-mail (Hewer, 1997). Pupils communicating with native speakers will develop positive attitudes and empathy as pupils will realise that they are real people in similar situations as their own. This too can improve the quality of the learning experience for pupils' (Hewer, 1997). According to Pachler (2007) electronic penpals are a resource in which students are able to engage in authentic communication in the target language and it is simple to start-up as there are a range of websites that can connect schools with foreign schools. Pupils can also communicate with native speakers via skype….

Bad side can't make a conversation

Having someone else look at a pupils written work is one of the best ways for increasing motivation. E-mailing has a range of oppotrunituies to be able 'to use the target language for real purposes' (p. 106 barton, 2006)

I have found that pupils are more motivated in lessons when speaking to native speakers because it is an opportunity for them to practise their language skills and often they are surprised with how much they know, which encourages them to want to learn more. Sometimes its difficult for pupils to see the benefits of learning a language this type of activity makes them realise how good it is to know a language.

The school has an ICT suite and also laptops for students however to have access to these is a major problem. Therefore, to do activities such as write an e-mail to a native speaker would prove to be difficult. If they do have the computers students' have to be monitored as they browse on other sites unrelated to MFL.

According to Barton (2006) MFL is more difficult to teach than other subjects because pupils' are more likely to misbehave. (Gray et al 2007) agree with Barton (2006) pupils are less likely to keep on task in a language lesson therefore; MFL teachers need to have better classroom management than other teachers. ICT has great motivational potential for pupils and when pupils' are motivated less likely to misbehave. ICT can support motivation and achievement for all and can have a particular impact on learners with behavioural, emotional and learning difficulties, according to Buckland (2000). ICT helps to motivate pupils because of things such as ease with which mistakes can be corrected, speed of computer response, control of the pace of work, quantity of information and opportunities for problem solving and risk taking (Buckland, 2000). Language lessons have the advantage of being able to include games to language learning and games are motivational for pupils' Barton (2006). Using technology for games is motivating however, over exposure can be a problem and need to have things to do on their desk as well as watching the board (Fisher, 2009). Pupils need to recognise ICT as a learning tool and not as a mediator tool which can happen through over exposure and then react against it. (Fisher, p.75)

Whilst I was teaching the interactive whiteboard did not work and I had planned everything on the whiteboard. It's important to have a back-up plan.

Short Clips on youtube to show how Halloween was celebrated in South America. Students found it interesting and its beneficial for visual/kinestic learners

It motivates students as lessons are more fun, offers authentic materials on the web and the opportunity for authentic communication.

You have to book the computer suite and the timetabling of the ICT suite can lead to feeling coerced into using technology

The Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) is a popular tool found in the majority of classrooms and it appears that the use of IWB will increase (Robertson and Green, 2012). In the UK, IWB has been extensive and fast supported by the government in schools (Pachler et al. p. 310). IWB helps to stimulate pupils' as lessons are more interactive and there is an increase the interaction between the teacher and pupils', teachers are more confident and have more time to guide students learning (Pachler et al). Betcher and Lee (2009) argue that not all teachers use IWB, even if the facilities are available. This is because some teachers do not see the educational value in using a IWB or they may feel intimidated having to use technology in front of pupils who they think know more about technology than they do themselves. Teachers need to be trained to use ICT effectively and efficiently (Buckland). Betcher and Lee (2009) suggest making IWB development a regular part of staff meetings in schools in order for teachers to be more confident with using IWB. However, critics wonder if it is value for money and whether they have the potential to transform teaching and learning (Pachler et al)

The knowledge of words and their meanings is vital in languages and is achieved through repetition (Pachler et al 2009, p.345) According to Degard and Hewer, ICT helps pupils to memorise words because they seem to engage with the vocabulary in a way that they do not using other media.

ICT aids with pronunciation because pupils' are able to listen and repeat words and are able to do this independently (pachler et al 2009) can also help with their listening as they are able to recognise sounds. Barton (2006) argues that when pupils start to learn a language it s important that teachers boost their listening skills.


What is clear is that the technology in and of itself will not provide a solution to the problem of languages being viewed as irrelevant and difficult for many children; they can, however, act as a useful resource for teachers who are also able to motivate, engage and support learners through a raft of different activities. (languagelab)