In this article, at the beginning, Milton points out that the problems in teaching foreign language that students are spoon-fed by teachers, they spend a lot of time on memorizing formulae in examinations, but they don’t gain any learning experience outside the classroom because of low motivation. As a result, the author suggests many ways to assist teachers to create engaging and meaningful learning activities.
1. Targeting Oral Fluency: Asynchronous Voice Messaging
It’s an opportunity for students to use L2 in their daily lives. This system motivates students and increased their confidence to use L2 by holding conversations via Web, meanwhile, it’s easier for teachers to promote and monitor their conversations. Teachers can leave recorded messages to encourage discussions and they can elicit responses that focus on specific skills such as pronunciation and intonation.
2. Online Data-driven Language Learning: Word Neighbors + Mark My Words
Word Neighbors is a discovery-based lexical lookup tool for students to look up words in certain contexts in order to enhance their proofreading skills and vocabulary acquisition. Mark My Word is a tool for teachers to provide feedback on students’ writing.
3. Online Role Plays
The author designed a scripting tool which allows students to create and publish their scripts online. This role-play activity enables students to work collaboratively at a distance. Moreover, it’s a great opportunity for students who are shy to speak to practice the language in this context.
I found the Word Neighbors is quite user-friendly and enables students to learn vocabulary autonomously. I would like to recommend this useful tool to my students. On one hand, students can understand the meaning of the word because this system has access to online dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc. On the other hand, students can memorize the words more effectively from the context since they realize the usage of the words.