Tablets, Smartphones and Movie Clips – “Current Methods and Tools for Language Learning”

勉強に嫌気を感じる女の子The positive effects of technology-supported methods in language learning are proven by various studies. At ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN 2013 Patricia Huion, Tord Talmo and Konstantinos Toubekis took account of this important fact.

As a teacher, developer and researcher, Patricia Huion from Limburg Catholic University College (Belgium) is fascinated by the impact of media on education. She introduced the audience to a continuous Grundtvig project for adult English learners in Europe. As more Europeans study languages to participate in the European community and societies are confronted with a lack of resources to pay for this continuous education, this Grundtvig project has developed a manual in which European teachers become autonomous learners: Learning to Learn by Teaching (L2LByTe).

From September 2012, 20 teachers from Italy, Romania, Latvia, England, Portugal and Belgium have met regularly in different European cities to experience L2LByTe while devising it. They share presentations on methodological issues and ways of learning and show each other how to use moodle, frype, facebook, twitter and blogs. The teachers tell stories about their educational system, they discuss working environments and cultural issues and invite their colleagues to their countries. Learning from each other, they design knowledge movie clips about their own specific cultural traditions, food, drinks, music or dances. Some clips are in the mother tongue with subtitles, some are with English subtitles and others are in English.

The participants write a narrative about their film production and the activities and the work is shared via moodle. “We discuss and share theoretical concepts in fora, post knowledge clips in our YouTubeChannel, gather activities in a WordPress blog, post pictures of our work in Facebook, tweet,” says Huion. The moodle allows the documentation of all activities chronologically and thematically.

MSc. Tord Talmo (assistant professor at Sør-Trøndelag University College, Norway) works in the iLike-project (initiated in 2012), aiming at utilising students’ handheld devices in language training and using new learning environments, methodology and application of technical services in the classroom. The new and improved way of teaching it has introduced should help students understand the logic behind languages. iLike stands for “Identifying the Logical structure of languages” by use of new interactive mobile services, new diagnostic training methods for development of key competences, and new evaluation methods introducing assessment for learning practices.

As pupils nowadays grow up with the internet as a natural environment, it seems logical to use Computer Assisted Language learning (CALL). CALL handles an enormous range of activities in all FLT skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing), but it has also given new life to traditional grammar and vocabulary based tasks (such as multiple choice, gap-filling, cloze testing). As language students often struggle to understand the logic in foreign languages’ grammar and reduce their facility to reproduce and create texts on their own, students use smartphones, tablets and computers to improve this ability.

Konstantinos Toubekis ( GmbH, Germany) introduced a third way of learning foreign languages : the video language learning portal The limbic system is the decisive authority for storing information. The filmmaker explained that he discovered video as a tool for teaching in 2000 when he had problems tying his necktie. The idea for a learning video was born.

Let’s see which sophisticated methodologies underpinning effective practices we will discover in the future.