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Integrating Interactive Multimedia and Web Applications in Teaching - Essay Example

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This paper highlights the integration of interactive multimedia components and Web applications in teaching listening comprehension. For instance, computer-assisted language learning (CALL), if integrated properly, can facilitate experiential learning and practice in various ways, improve student achievement and motivation, encourage investigative and large-scale learning, enable easy access to genuine materials, offer effective feedback to students, make instructions individualized, allow both binary and group activities, enable total independence from a particular information source, and facilitate better interaction (Lee, 2000; Warshauer & Healey, 1998).
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Integrating Interactive Multimedia and Web Applications in Teaching
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Download file to see previous pages The significance of investigating this integration remains, however, considering that listening now is the cornerstone of language acquisition (Krashen et al., 1994) and a fundamental activity in L2 acquisition process (Dunkel, 1991a; Krashen, 1982; Rost, 1993). Likewise, studies indicate that the social dynamics of listening have gained more significance in the study and use of LC for L2 (Lynch, 1988; Rost, 1990; Rubin, 1994).
Increasingly, more emphasis is now being given to the processes of interaction and meaning-negotiation while focus shifts away from listening as a mental process internal to the listener (Doughty, 1991; Dunkel, 1991b; Pica, Young, & Doughty, 1987; Robinson, 1991). Researchers are also refining their understanding of the key differences and similarities between reading and listening (Canale, 1984; Hoven, 1991; Lund, 1991; Swaffar & Bacon, 1993).
For all the above reasons and more, a model designed to facilitate such integration process is being proposed. In a nutshell, the model suggests an integration process based upon theoretical, pedagogical, and technical grounds accompanied by a user-centered approach for software design. It is argued that this model might lead to a successful integration of interactive Web applications for teaching listening comprehension. The model components will be discussed respectively.
Toward a Constructivist Approach
Two contradictory views of the most common theoretical frameworks of contemporary CALL exist. Felix (2002) claims that a quick look at the literature in language learning and technology will reveal that there is a move away from the static transmission models of knowledge and skill acquisition, which are instructivist vs. constructivist, tending towards more contextualized, authentic, and meaningful tasks in language learning. These three characteristics are underscored in three recent approaches in language learning and technology: the collaborative learning approach, the problem solving approach, and the constructivist approach. This study will adopt the definition of constructivism which believes that human knowledge is constructed and learners construct their own experience and understanding through assimilating current experience with previous internalized knowledge. Moreover, learning is seen as a collaborative, autonomous, socially negotiated process, which takes place when supported by a rich environment (Ruschoff & Ritter, 2001).
Pachler (2002), however, claims that traditional behaviorist modes, which I believe depends partly on transmission models (i.e., repetition in listening/speaking), are still very common in the world of CALL. The breaking of learning tasks into small manageable steps to drill and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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