English Language Festival- 2015. page VII
A.Makhmudova, a teacher of English in
Gymnasium ¹1, Kizlyar, Dagestan
MODERN TECHNOLOGIES IN TEACHING ENGLISH LANGUAGE AT A SCHOOL LEVEL
Priority of education shows the real progress of the country. Being a high-priority situation, education needs including all the technological advances into the process of teaching. With the fast development of the Internet, computer use in the classroom gives additional possibilities for doing communicative tasks.
Teaching English is an extremely important part of the educational system in Russia nowadays. Languages open the world for the learners and many countries consider the teaching of English a major educational priority (McKay 2000). Just like all the other spheres teaching English has recently faced changes in methodologies. Technology can be a great asset in the classroom, offering writing, reading, speaking activities and motivating students of all ages with interactive exercises. Technology provides us with the endless recourses on grammar instruction as well. We can admit that education and technology have already become inseparable. The following classification proves that language learning is technologically driven .
One important thing should be mentioned when speaking about technologies in teaching English. There are concrete criteria to select effective technical aids:
1. teaching strategy should be appropriate for the student level;
2. presentation should be clear and precise;
3. there should be no errors on the screen;
4. the aids should be technically sound;
5. content must be authentic, accurate and up-to-date.
The most widespread technical aids in teaching English today are Interactive Whiteboard Technology, Film Projection and Language Laboratory. But even if there are no such aids in the classroom, practically every teacher has a computer or a laptop with the Internet. So let me speak about several concrete tips for the teachers of English.
To begin with, you can use short educational films or videos engaging way to work on skills like vocabulary or comprehension. You can go on ESL Partyland to get free resources of this kind including vocabulary worksheets and discussion questions.
Then, students can listen to podcasts to improve their pronunciation, they can also create podcasts to practice speaking abilities. Having a microphone and a laptop you can create reports and presentations with your pupils.
Third, some words should be said about Web Quests. Web Quests are a wonderful way for the students to use the Internet to create English proficiency. Students are given tasks and rely on their knowledge to complete them
Writing skills can be improved using class blogs. Bloggingcan be free ( Live Journal, Edublogue and Blogger allow you to create blogs for free). A wide audience has an access to reading your blog that`s, why students find th is form of writing more appealing. Teachers can get students write on special topics – current events or political or social issues. The more they practice their skills, the more proficient they become.
Skype can help students to practice their speaking skills. Besides, they listen to people with different accents from different locations. Teaching Degree offers 50 suggestions on how to use Skype in the classroom.
Among other resources helping teacher in the classroom I can mention Dave`s ESL Café with a page for students to provide easy-to-understand explanations of different grammar concepts like tenses and verb forms.
Audio books can be used to improvecomprehension, online games like Scrabble or Boggle are entertaining for students of all ages.
Finally, it is obvious that modern technologies like Test Server or Hot Potatoes Suite don`t demand your registration and provide teachers with various ways of testing students.
Selected technical aids can help both teachers and students. With the Internet spreading faster and faster ot is significant to choose appropriate tools and instruments supporting language learning.
English teacher of the Igali School,
Igali, Gumbet region
The ways of motivation of the students in learning English
Faraway in the mountains between the cliffs
I see-through my dreams I see a village
At the days and at the nights all the time
Its beautiful summits stand in front of me
Cleanest air and sweetest spring waters
Can`t find these things except in my village
Even though I am too far from you now
I never stopped thinking of you my dear.
Good afternoon dear colleagues! How are you doing today? Today in my five minutes speech I would like to share with you some ideas that can help to motivate our kids in learning English.
Why should one learn English? Learning another language is not an easy process, it takes time, and it takes determination. So before starting on the long and adventurous journey of learning English, we should ask ourselves why. I have asked myself this question more than ten years ago. Here is the list of the reasons to learn English that convinced me to do so:
1. Professional opportunities
Being bilingual is something that more and more businesses all over the world require from their employees. Besides the US and Great Britain, English is the main language in countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada, parts of Africa, India, and many smaller island nations, as well as the commonly adopted second language in Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands. Speaking English opens these countries and cultures up to you, the English learner.
Most of the international business interactions that happen in different parts of the world use English as a platform. You will hear business people conduct business in English in Shanghai, Tokyo, Moscow, Budapest, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, and many other cities around the globe. In order to be able to communicate with other business people through email, memos, at conferences, etc.
English is also the language of technology and science, especially computer science, genetics, and medicine. If you are interested in these fields, then learning English should be a priority. Being able to speak English will make it easy to contact experts and scientists from other countries, participate in international conferences, visit academic centers abroad, and learn about new scientific discoveries by reading papers, books, and magazines.
2. Social networking and relationships – becoming a global citizen
English is not only the main language of business, but also the main language of social interaction. Although most countries have their own language, English is the one language that unites the entire world. Knowing.
English is the most important step towards becoming a global citizen – a person that can live anywhere, thrive anywhere, and speak to anyone. Would it not be amazing to overcome all communication barriers and be able to exchange thoughts and ideas with someone your age, or from your field of work, from say China or Brazil? Forming lasting relationships, not only for business, but also for friendship or for romance has the English language as the common denominator.
3. Entertainment and cultural understanding
The majority of films and entertainment programs in the world is in English. Not to mention that the primary language that books are published in is English. The wealth of information and entertainment that the world has access to is primarily in English. It always feels like an accomplishment for an English learner to be able to watch a movie in English with no subtitles, or read their first book entirely in English.
Ultimately English makes it easy to access and understand other cultures.
4. Education – research and academics
With more than 2000 universities and colleges and more than 400 billion dollars spent every year on research, the US alone offers an incredible array of opportunities to those who are able to function in an English only environment. There are many universities around the world that have recognized the need for English and that are now teaching entire courses in English. Knowing English also opens doors for study abroad – there are over 750,000 foreign students in the US (according to an USA Today article), and over 430,000 in the UK (according to the UK Council of International Student Affairs).
5. Access to knowledge – the Internet
With the advent of the Internet, it is easier than ever to access all sorts of information, but chances are that it will be in English. The percentage of web pages with English content is estimated to be over 50%, while the next language most used is German and amounts to less than 10% of pages. The incredible amount of information on the Internet (some estimate it to a trillion pages, compels us to consider English as a language more than worth learning.
Learning a foreign language can be both challenging and rewarding. While it might take you years to learn and perfect your English, the reasons mentioned above should act as a motivator. With them in mind, make your first step towards freedom and knowledge!
Associated Professor of the English Chair,
Kabaridino- Balkar State University.
Developing Listening Skills with Authentic Materials.
Many students, especially those with lower proficiency levels in the language, find that Listeningis most difficult for them.
Among listening problems are speaking rate, distraction, unable to recognize the words they knew, new vocabulary, frustration, nervousness, background knowledge etc. Students reported that the most important source of their listening comprehension problem is the fast rate of speech. Not surprisingly, the second most important source of their listening problem is 'distraction'. If the speech rate is too fast and the students cannot catch the words, they naturally get distracted and will be unable to continue to process the information. The third most difficult problem gives further confirmation that the fast speech rate, along with the other features of speech made it difficult for the students to recognize the words that they actually knew. As a result, they were not able to comprehend the text.
The questions are:what can be done to help the students? What should they do to improve their listening skills? The answer isto use Extensive Listening.
Extensive listening can be defined as all types of listening activities that allow students to receive a lot of comprehensible and enjoyable listening input.These activities can be teacher-directed dictations, read- aIoud or self-directed listening for pleasure that can be done outside the classroom. The key consideration is that learners get to do a lot of meaningful listening practice.
The question of how to help learners develop effective listening skills brings attention to the methods we use and the type of materials we introduce our learners.
The aim of all listening lessons should be to allow learners a greater degree of independence when confronted with listening to the foreign language in a real world context, and that means using authentic materials. Authentic materials are any spoken texts, which have not been specially prepared for language learners, and they are often delivered via technologies like radio, television/video, and the Internet or CD-ROM.
Due to their importance in language classes, authentic materials have various advantages to be discussed. First of all, they help prepare learners for the ‘real’ world of communication and guide learners toward the language they need for their particular context. Second, they motivate learners to communicate because they help make communication ‘real’. Finally, authentic materials keep students informed about what is happening in the world, so they have educational value.
Educators have also mentioned that authentic materials can encourage reading for pleasure because they are likely to contain topics of interest to learners, especially if students are given the chance to speak about the topics of kinds of authentic materials to be used in class. As a result, learners will keep high motivation and interesting in language teaching through these meaningful interactions with the materials. (Nunan – 1999).
Here are some of the examples of authentic materials I use in my classroom:
· Printed materials: magazines (e.g. “Heritage Today”, “Newsweek”, “US Weekly”),advertisements (e.g. “Free Vacation Rental Advertising”http://www.free-vacation-rental-advertising.com/), lyrics to songs, tourist information brochures and maps. I also use "The Guardian" (www.theguardian.com) and the“Telegraph”(www.telegraph.co.uk). They are full of very different information aimed at different target audience. One may find there everything from serious current news to gossips about stars and some extraordinary phenomena.
· Viewing/listening materials: cartoons (e.g. “Horrid Henry” https://www.youtube.com/user/TheRealHorridHenry, movies, commercials and TV programs, websites (e.g. the British Museumhttp://www.britishmuseum.org/, American Museum of Natural Historyhttp://www.amnh.org/).In addition, I use BBC, CNN, Sky news Australia (this one is nice, because students can listen to Australian English). Videos can be easily found on YouTube.
Although authentic materials are educationally valuable, some difficulties and challenges are faced regarding this issue. Actually, both, the teacher and the students may face those challenges. For the teacher, preparing those materials is time consuming. It takes hours to prepare the materials. Sometime, the materials become out of date rapidly so the teacher will have to update the work annually. Also, they face problem with copyright issues.
On the other hand, students also face difficulties. Some materials include complicated language that it makes it hard for some students to decode the text. Alternatively, if it is listening, students may face problems with accent and the lack of cultural background. However, teachers can overcome difficulties if they were well prepared by having a list of anticipated problems and suggested solutions since challenges are always found to make classroom work more interesting.