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The Impact of Technology in Language Learning and Teaching

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Technology is the main concern of the developing world nowadays, which affects almost all businesses including teaching and learning. Technology manifests itself as innovations or inventions. Merç,A (2015) stated, “The use of technology in teaching becomes more important in present times, because teachers also have to be able to keep up with the technological knowledge of their students”(as cited in Richards, 2014, p. 2). From that point of view, technology is the practical direction of basic sciences.

Although the emergence of certain inventions depends on coincidence, the technology is mainly obtained as a result of research and development activities. In this regard, developments in Basic Science are the main resources for the technology. Undoubtedly, all the information about Basic Sciences need not be used in practice. Only a part of these can be utilized in the production of technology. However, current technical knowledge plays a pivotal role in future technical innovations. It should be noted that the main objective of modern research and development activities are to produce technologies that will replace the capital factor rather than the labour factor, which is scarce in developed countries. In our globalized world, now the countries that have developed physical borders and restrictions have become famous only at the symbolic level. Intercultural convergence has accelerated, along with advances in language teaching and translation studies. A uniform citizenship consciousness in humans has left its place in mind to be a human being of the world.

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Of course, all these developments have the comfort of learning of a foreign language quickly and comfortably. The use of technology today allows us to work more easily in many areas of our lives. In addition to it, language education benefits from it. The use of technology in language teaching provides a lot of convenience to instructors and students. Moqbel and Padmarani Rao, (2013) stated that “technology is an effective instructional aid. In the current age, it, along with its various tools and applications, has been more integrated in the teaching and learning process. This can play an important role in enhancing this process” (as cited in Al-Ghazo, 2008). As understood from their words, technology is already in people’s life. The place of the technology in education has a huge role in developed countries. Nowadays, technology is used from the board to the book, from the computer to the projector. The process of taking the technology into education was problematic at the beginning.

First, new technologies has brought additional burdens to teachers. In the middle ages, it became essential for the teacher and the students to come face to face in education. Then written materials appeared and almost the books came to take the place of the teachers in education. Nowadays the books are still basic education tool. However, books are dull and inadequate for learners. In fact, the books transfer to the internet for easier and faster access, it will change the dull face of books. Thus, as a new educational tool, the computer will be entered the education world.

What is the impact of technology in language learning and teaching? Literature Review: First of all, the distance learning became popular among the schools which has limited the teachers’ teaching time in school. There are indeed advantages and disadvantages of the distance learning which has almost nothing to do with the classroom teachings as Amiri, E., & Branch, L. (2012) claims “Technology is developing and changing very fast, and if it is not used effectively and correctly some problems can be occurred.” The students have no opportunity to ask questions and receive answers via distance learning. They have no contact with the teachers, even if they have, reply of the teacher may take hours, even days or weeks. The students do not have the chance to participate and learn the subjects actively as well. On the other hand, distance learning has the opportunity to listen or watch related records anytime the student wants, that means it is more practical. It also gets easier for the teacher to offer distance learning than teaching in a classroom.

Pre-recorded videos or audios can be used for multiple groups of students for years if the curriculum would not change. “The use of technology in the classroom has opened up new possibilities for language education through the web generations that positively contribute to the teaching-learning process.” (Solano, Cabrera, Ulehlova, & Espinoza, 2017) The use of technology in language teaching will improve the ability of the student to communicate. In the past, when technological facilities were not so widespread and varied, many of the students complained about the lesson of teaching and communication with their classmates. As a result, either the student was drawn to his own shell or absorbed from the lessons and the environment.

Molchanova (2015) explained that “Students do these exercises independently, put in Moodle, by means of which a teacher moderates the educational process, in due time gives recommendations for doing tasks and also watches and controls students’ self-guided work.” The use of technology today helps students overcome this problem. In the blogs created for that lesson or in the Whatsapp groups, students can quickly discuss a topic with their classmates and use Moodle, Skype, and so on. They can communicate with each other through programs. Thus, in addition to the classroom environment, a more interactive teaching-learning environment is created and the topics that cannot be understood or solved by the class and which cannot be discussed can be clarified. “The use of technology in various fields has been so successful and beneficial for teachers to reach some particular goals especially in education and for those who are learning a foreign language and literature” (Amiri, Branch, Lecturer, 2012).

A teacher who does not have a healthy dialogue with his or her students in class does some work on social media and his students, or that he or she has a recommendation for the A and B generations. To say in the corporate sense, “we are using technology”: Many foreign broadcasters have created programs that will revolutionize language teaching with the development of laptops and tablet computers and the spread of smartphones. Schools are competing with each other to get these programs. Incorrect! Every individual has different personality traits. Depending on these personality traits they can develop different learning styles and strategies. For example, an introverted individual may have a visual learning style and an extroverted individual may have an auditory learning style.

Accordingly, these individuals may have developed different learning strategies, such as social, cognitive, or intelligence. It is ideal for an instructor in the class to consciously prepare course content according to the learning styles and strategies of their students. However, often these individuals who have different personalities and develop different learning styles and strategies cannot get what they want and cannot perform the desired performance. The use of technology at this stage in language education and training can meet the different needs of students. For example, a topic that is explained and practiced on the internet will allow the individual to provide more personal working opportunities and space. The use of programs such as blogs and moodles will ensure to ask the academic-personal questions to instructor which are not asked during class and it provides to the individual will not break out of the education process and keep the interest alive. The greater the number of opportunities for a given course than the technological possibilities, the lower the interest and success of the students. There is a very simple rule of creation. Mankind cannot deal with more than one job at the same time. By giving a homework on a moodle, practicing on a site on the internet, giving support through Skype, and practicing and testing the book CD, will lead to the problem of focusing on the individual lessons and the materials used. The instructor should carefully choose the technology he/she will use in his / her classroom and apply it with determination. In other words, it does not mean the instructor may use technology to take the easy way out. This choice will either extend the learning period or it will fail. Amiri, Branch and Lecturer (2012) stated that “in recent years the terminology has been changed for web based learning; it was called as technology based or distance learning, online education, in the end it is now called e-learning and web based learning.”

Phil and Shyamlee (2012) said that “There are many techniques applicable in various degrees to language learning situation. Some are useful for testing and distance education, and some for teaching business English, spoken English, reading, listening or interpreting.” The ‘Distance Learning’ opportunity in language teaching offers many individual language learning opportunities. Individuals who do not have the opportunity to learn a language or improve their foreign language due to their work can benefit from cost, time and space advantages through distance learning. Although distance learning is not very advantageous in some respects, it is also a saviour for many individuals because of the advantages they provide. A careful and diligent distance learning program can fulfil an individual’s dream of learning a language. However, as is the case with many subjects, it should not be taken into the ‘market opportunist’ traps in distance education. The academic history of the program, the cost of the program, the duration of the training and the advantages to be achieved at the end, the cost of technological infrastructure for the student, the number of people who have benefited so far and the program references must be meticulously investigated. As a result, the use of technology in language teaching and education is inevitable today. Yes, it is a necessity, but it is not necessary! A lesson prepared by taking into consideration the needs of individuals and taking advantage of technological facilities provides both teachers and students with many advantages. The key point here is that the technology is used consciously and carefully when it comes to a specific purpose.

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