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Donavan Whyte is Vice President, EMEA Enterprise & Education at Rosetta Stone

Enhancing language learning through tech

Rosetta Stone'€™s Vice President Donavan Whyte outlines the benefits of technology in the language classroom

Posted by Rebecca Paddick | June 24, 2014 | International

Traditional teaching is complemented in today’s modern classroom with approaches to tutoring that incorporate technology. A combination of in-person and online teaching stands to transform learning, with online tools offering many benefits that include:

  • Engagement – well designed, virtual learning environments offer opportunities for students to actively acquire knowledge and immediately apply it which reinforces and drives understanding. Realistic foreign language speaking experience can be gained from online virtual tools that include simulations and role plays.
  • Interactivity – by supplementing the familiar approach to absorbing information through lessons, tutorials and textbooks with online learning, students can connect and interact with their subject even more. Students familiar with technology in their day to day lives relate to a digital interactive experience and can benefit from participating in, for example communities and online learning support groups.

  • Personalisation – students have different learning needs and their own learning style and approach. Online learning content adapts to deliver a personalised learning experience. It can, for example vary the pace at which topics are moved on and how much repetition is used to reinforce learning. Adapting content delivery in this way means students can learn at their own pace. Online and app-based programmes can also deliver instant and bespoke feedback to language learning students on aspects such as speech recognition. They are also designed to adapt content delivery to meet the personal needs of students, including special educational needs.

Beyond the classroom
Students who have engaged with a subject and have developed a passion for it will continue to explore it outside the classroom. Online learning can open the door to new and diverse languages for pupils to learn in their own time and at their own speed. If students are inspired by a subject they are more likely to develop a habit of continual learning and development early on. In today’s competitive world this outlook matters more and more as life-long learning becomes the norm.

With apps on phones and other portable online devices, work and education is no longer tied to an office, a classroom, a desk, and hasn’t been for some time. The lines between earning, learning and personal time are blurring. This isn’t viewed as unusual by a younger generation less expectant of a traditional ‘nine-to-five.’

The integration of modern technology into the classroom critically enhances existing teaching practices in a really powerful way and supports a new approach to teaching that is more effective and rewarding than ever before - both for students but also teachers. From the possibilities such tools offer for personalisation, interaction and engagement we would hope to see a level of academic achievement that rewards the taking of that step into an integrated teaching model. In support of teachers achieving the best possible results for students with all tools at their disposal, technology complements in-person teaching to deliver an all-rounded learning experience.

Donavan Whyte is Vice President, EMEA Enterprise & Education at Rosetta Stone.

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