Foreign Language Skills and the Use of Technology

By Celia Esplugas and María José Cabrera-Puche.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study presents ways of employing technology to enhance listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of Spanish. Used correctly, technology can improve listening and speaking skills. It will provide aural input from a wide variety of sources, ranging from aural material adapted to students’ level of competency to non-edited material, which will offer an opportunity to broaden students’ understanding of dialectal differences. The use of technology can also strengthen students’ speaking skills by providing practice beyond the classroom setting. Moreover, through the reading of hypertext, technology can be applied to develop both reading and writing skills. Hypertext reading includes listening, reading and writing exercises covering a range of linguistic functions, from basic vocabulary acquisition and grammar exercises to writing of essays. These activities will also call for a range of thinking skills, where students will demonstrate factual as well as interpretative understanding of the material presented in the hypertext. In addition, the hypertext will provide students with appropriate cultural background. To approach the study of the use of computers in foreign languages, we will present a review of pertinent literature that will throw light on the advantages and disadvantages of using computers. We will also introduce a variety of techniques to prepare students to read an excerpt of the novel Don Segundo Sombra and a model of the exercises to appear on the computer screen.

Keywords: Foreign Language Skills, Technology, Listening Skills, Reading Skills, Speaking Skills, Writing Skills

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp.111-122. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.647MB).

Dr. Celia Esplugas

Professor of Spanish, Department of Foreign Languages, West Chester University, West Chester, PA, USA

Dr. María José Cabrera-Puche

Assistant Professor of Spanish, Department of Foreign Languages, West Chester University, PA, USA


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