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Use of Technology to Improve Language Learning Outcomes

Language learning

CORE Education was commissioned by the Ministry of Education to conduct an evaluative study of current effective practice in the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to support the learning of languages other than English in English medium schools.

Key findings: 

The project considered the extent to which ICTs were integrated into teaching and learning in a range of language lessons, including Te Reo Maori, European languages – French & Spanish, as well as Japanese and Chinese, at intermediate and junior secondary levels. The study focused on the ways in which engaging in ICT-based learning activities might improve student learning outcomes in relation to the following four key elements of the language learning process:

  • Input (students’ exposure to the language)
  • Output (students’ use of the language)
  • Interaction (reciprocal communications with others in the language)
  • Cultural reflection (students’ understanding of, and respect for, cultural similarities and differences)

A range of ICT tools were utilised by teachers and learners to support language learning, including hardware (laptops, digital cameras, data projectors), software (Microsoft Office, Language Market, Linguascope) and networks (YouTube, Internet). The ICTs were used for a variety of activities and the range of resources offered increased exposure to authentic language and culture. The highly visual and auditory nature of ICTs engaged learners and encouraged reflection, further exploration and comparison with their own culture, whilst also allowing for differentiated learning, enabling all students to experience success. The multimodal aspects of ICT tools allowed the learners to speak, write, present and perform in the language and often provided instant feedback on accuracy, fluency and understanding, thus, motivating students to improve through self-correction.