Essay: E-Learning Environment

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  • Subject area(s): Education
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  • Published on: 14th June 2012
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E-Learning Environment

ICT has become the medium of language teaching today. Using ICT brings a positive attitude not only among students but also among teachers. ICT creates an e-learning environment for teaching English as ESP (English for Specific Purposes). This paper focuses on the effective usage of web-based learning to increase students' motivation. It provides opportunities to communicate more effectively and to develop skills among learners. ICT consists of many communication devices like radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardware and software and so on. ICT learning takes place based on the idea of 'I hear and I forget, I see and remember; I do and I understand'. To support different classroom activities, group work, pair work, and to enforce student-centered learning ICT can be used. The World Wide Web (www) is perhaps the most significant development in ICT.
Communication is inevitable and involves the process of conveying thoughts, ideas and feelings using verbal as well as non- verbal signals. When interacting with others, ICT makes sensitivity, tolerance, flexibility, patience and so on. Web based exercise are more effective than paper based exercise. Sherrington (1973) considers educational technology as an important tool for English language learning which gives learners the true picture of language as it is really used by native men and women in actual life, and it also makes them experience the proper use of language in the given context. In olden days language teaching is carried out inside the classroom by using black board. But as technology develops, learning methods changes as internet can be accessed to learning material they require. Technology encompasses a wide range of communication technology of internet, emails, and chat through Skype, face book, blogs, mooc and virtual learning environment. Internet appears to be an easy concept to gasp all the language materials.
ICT ' as a tool
According to Herington (2002) ICT means technology that facilitates exposure to authentic language, which provides access to wider sources of information and varieties of language, giving people the opportunity to communicate with the world outside, allowing a learner ' centered approach thereby, and developing learner's autonomy. English being a second language has become essential for adult learners to meet their professional needs. The adult learner needs to learn English language for use in their specific field such as science, technology, medicine and academic learning. ICT as a valuable tool enhances their learning as it helps them to collect information and communicate in a broad range. For teachers, ICT as a professional resource creates an opportunity to communicate effectively to students.

E-learning means learning at all levels, formal and informal, which uses computer network for the delivery of teaching materials, interaction, and facilitation. Interactive media is the integration of digital media including combinations of electronic text, graphics, moving images, and sound, into a structured digital computerized environment that allows people to interact with the data for appropriate purposes. Current running LMS-based technology becomes very famous, so it can be accessed from anywhere over the available access to the internet service. Internet can be used as a medium of language learning through email, www (World Wide Web), and text, audio and video conferencing.
In modern world Mooc (Massive Open Online Course) has become famous all over the world. It contains a list of online courses on all subjects. A Massive Open Online Course is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. Blogging is another revolutionary tool in the field of education (Hibbs, 2003). Blogs become an important tool over the internet, simply as an online diary.
Computer ' assisted language learning (CALL) is an approach to learn a language. In Language, computer technology is used as an aid for presentation, reinforcement and assessment of material to be learned. For English language learning and teaching, CALL instruments are camera, audio equipment, video equipment, scanner, printer etc. (almost all devices that can access, present, manipulate and communicate words, sounds and images to enable us to create meanings). Through these instruments the learners can be motivated as they are the source for a significant amount of reading material, which involves fun while learning. Successful language learning is impossible unless the learner himself carries out a systematic learning process involving the task of vocabulary building activity. For fluent language usage, learners can prefer a regular response to BBC learning English updates involving varieties of activity.BBC audio- video cassettes will help them to minimize pronunciation errors and enables them to read flawlessly.. Major activities concentrate on communication skills, fluency, correct pronunciation and structured grammar pattern. According to Lonergan (1984) video brings a slice or real life into the language classroom as it presents a communication situation for language learning as they not only hear the dialogue but see the participants responding in the surrounding. Thus the visual information not only leads to a further comprehension of spoken language but also benefit learners in many other ways.
Fitzpatrick and Davies (2002) in Hartoyo (2012) sets out the seven ways in which ICT used in language learning:
a) Presentation
Material of language learning such as text-based materials, audio-video needs for the learners. Presentation helps learners in the better understanding of learning material.
b) Practice
Different exercises types provided through ICT, incorporates the presentation stimuli (in varying combinations of text, audio and video format). ICT also offers the possibility of the analyzing learners' responses with appropriate feedback.(Hartoyo, 2012:40)
c) Authoring
Applying ICT in language learning, teachers can either purchase ready-made materials or create their own exercise materials using a variety of authoring tools.(Hartoyo 2012:40).
d) Computer-Aided Assessment (CAA)
Computer-Aided Assessment (CAA) plays an increasingly important role in foreign language teaching and learning as it is used in testing and assessing students' understanding after learning.
e) Publishing
ICT tools exist to help teachers and learners to publish or link their work in a local area network through
' Word ' processors and Desk Top Publishing (DTP) software, using audio recording and editing tools to record interview and discussions. Digital camera and web cam to record presentations, drama, role play, and so on
' Power point as a medium to publish presentations
' Web pages using web authoring tools.
f) Communications
Technology helps learners and teachers to communicate. Some ICT tools which can be used as a medium of information are: email, which allows language learners to communicate with 'web pals' in other countries, Tandem learning, computer mediated discussion, web-based learning environment, audio conferencing, and video conferencing.
g) Simulations
Computer can act as a stimulus which generates analysis, critical thinking, discussion and writing. Programs which include simulations are especially effective as stimuli. Examples of language learning tasks which 'simulate' real world tasks are: Web Quest, Action Mazes, Adventure games, real-life simulations, video conference. Through ICT it connects to the reality possibilities to motivate students exploit many reference tool on internet.
Summary and recommendation
As a form of advanced technology ICT is an optimized function, especially in the implementation of learning. The role of ICT in teaching and learning process is thus important in this era of globalization. Being motivated and attracted through ICT, learners enjoy the facilitated ESP classroom.
Chapelle, C. A. Computer Application in second language acquisition.CUP.2001.
Sharma, R. C. Education in the digital world. New Delhi: viva books publishers.2005.
Ahmed, jameel. Media technology and English teaching. New Delhi: APH publisher. 2010.
Sherington,R. Television and language skills.UK:OUP.1973.
Hartoyo. Individual Differences in Computer-Assisted Language Learning. : Universitas Negeri Semarang Press, 2008.
Barad, D. P. Experimenting ICT in Teaching English Language and Literature. Asia Call Online Journal Vol.4 No 1. October. (2009).

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