Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Plenary with Steven L. Thorne

Steven shows a picture of his tiny daughter sitting in front of the computer and typing something being very concentrated. As Steve says she has managed to send out some emails to his contacts from his email account. :) This is the proof for what he said previously: Technology use starts early! Funnily enough my younger son also manages to do such things on the computer that it makes me wonder where he gets this knowledge from. Is this perhaps some kind of inborn ability that modern children have? How else could they be computer-literate while still 2 or 3 years old?
 Is it possible that our children are going to learn a language by just using the Internet? Could it be easier for them to learn a language by playing games? In many of modern games they have to collaborate with other gamers from around the world and the language of communication among them must be one. So if it is English, would they learn it more easily if the learning takes place online in communication with other people who share the same interests?
 What we do as educators matters but when we teach a language to our learners, we teach them what we find appropriate or what the course books tell us we should teach at each level. Steven used here Mark Twain's quote about learning French: "I was discouraged when I arrived in France and discovered that there is no intermediate French."
 Well, then maybe social media and gaming also matter in language development and maybe have more influence on our learners because the learning happens now and is more real-life. So then maybe we should start incorporating gaming and social media into the curriculum to make the experience of language learners more relevant to them?

Complete session can be viewed here:

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