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Language Lab - Articles

One-Click Multimedia Teaching


One of the most important uses of technology is that it makes it easy for instructors to incorporate multimedia into their teaching. While we use all of our senses to take in information, we each seem to have preferences in how we learn best. In order to help all students learn, we need to teach to as many of these preferences as possible.

As a result of the impact and influence of information technology on society and education, computer-assisted language learning is becoming the trend in foreign language teaching. Interactive computer network allows students to test the result of learning without the risk of being punished for any mistake. Learning does not have to be a pressure. Computer-assisted language learning can reduce the anxiety of students and turns out to be a positive side of learning.

This technology enabled language teaching platform uses the aid of computers for facilitating the interactions between the students and teachers. The main feature of this is that it pays systematic attention to functional as well as structural aspects of language. In reaction to the grammar-translation and audio-lingual methods, the multimedia teaching approach emphasizes the communicative activities that involve the real use of language in daily life situation. The faculties could send independent assignments, monitor the students work,

English conversation practice in a classroom merely equipped with only desks, chairs, and a large blackboard. Instead, the course was carried out in a multimedia computer language lab (multimedia lab hereafter) desktops in the lab. They are all networked. Two computers are set for instructor use only. The multimedia lab shares some features with the traditional audio-lingual language lab. The teacher can broadcast the teaching materials by playing audio tapes, video-tapes, or CDs. Students practice with each other in pairs by themselves. The instructor assigns a pair of students as the model group.

The multimedia lab has some features that traditional language lab cannot compete. First, a traditional language lab does not have the function of video on demand. Students can choose an English teaching program they are interested in and learn on their pace of learning. The English learning program will just serve the student's desired goal of learning. In one sense, students easily get the individual attention from the computer. Second, the function of a multimedia lab is multiple. It can not only assume the role of a traditional language lab, but also offer teachers more powerful teaching tools with the aid of modern computer technology.

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