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Computer Assisted Language Teaching | Ravind Sivalingam




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Computer Assisted Language Teaching | Ravind Sivalingam

Question 1

We are in an era where technological advancements plays a pivotal role in our

everyday life, and that includes the education field as well. Technology has been integrated in

our classroom in so many ways that we often forget the fact that we are utilizing it. It has

become more of an automacy for teachers to use technology as it makes teaching and

learning experience that much fun and much more importantly, relevant to the current

generation. Gone are the days where teaching was looked at as a ‘chalk-and-talk’ process

and into a time where virtual learning environments are given the utmost priority. These

changes are the results due to the world heading towards the 21st century, the beginning of

the 4th industrial revolution. We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will

fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. The transformation will

be unlike anything humankind has ever experienced before. We do not fully know just how it

will unfold or where it will lead us to, but one thing is clear; the response to it must be integrated

and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private

sectors to civil society and not forgetting academia (Schwab, 2015). In order to keep check

with the advancing world, few important steps need to be taken and it all starts from the school.

Education plays a vital role and it is here where we have the opportunity to shape the future

generations and prep them to take on the world that may be different to what we know now.

In order to do that, we need to reform our classrooms by successfully integrating technology.

And how do we assess whether the integration has been successful or not? Well, there are 4

key areas that can tell us whether we have done a successful integration or not: lesson

planning, teacher’s delivery, engagement with learners and teaching aids.

To start things off, the most fundamental element in teaching and learning process is

the lesson planning. Lesson planning produces more unified lessons (Jensen, 2001). With a

proper and quality planning, we will be able to deliver a successful lesson, not to mention one

with technology integration. It is the roadmap for the instructors that shows what students need

to learn and how it can be done systematically and in a given time frame. The first victory in


Computer Assisted Language Teaching | Ravind Sivalingam

successfully integrating technology in classroom is by first integrating it in our lesson plan,

which will give teachers the opportunity to demonstrate how it might be used to enhance the

lesson. We are well aware of the fact that our Ministry of Education has a pre-specified

curriculum, meaning the curriculum is already provided and non-changeable. We as a teacher

however can play our part by planning a lesson that successfully integrates appropriate

technology that goes along with the curriculum. When we are planning a lesson, we need to

consider the type of technology that can be used to enhance our lesson and not just use it for

gimmick purposes. The use of projector in classroom was seen as an integration of technology

in classroom a while back, but nowadays it is more than that. Technology integration is not

about what equipment that we use, but rather how we use it and whether it helps in elevating

the lesson. A proper and quality planning will involve technology that helps the students in

comprehending the lesson easier and for them to utilize it on their own at some point.

When designing technology integrated lesson plan, give consideration to how

technology can be used to acquire, organize, demonstrate, and communicate information. The

planning process for technology integration is similar to planning a curriculum unit. The main

differences are how the students acquire the knowledge and skills, how they demonstrate and

apply the knowledge and skills, and how learning will be assessed or evaluated. These

differences have a major influence on the structure of a lesson plan as they incorporate the

use of technology. There are a few steps that can be followed in designing a good lesson plan.

First, we need to examine the curriculum documents and identify the objectives of the lesson.

Instructional objectives must be specific, outcome-based, and measurable, and they must

describe learner behavior (Heinich et al., 2001). A good objective can lead to a good lesson.

And when we can identify it, it will clearly show us the path that we are on. Then, we should

determine the knowledge and skills level by deciding how our students will acquire new

knowledge and skills and gather resources to achieve instructional goals. The next step is the

crucial one, which is selecting appropriate technology product to apply learning. Use

technology that enhances the lesson. And finally, select a method of assessment and criteria


Computer Assisted Language Teaching | Ravind Sivalingam

for evaluation, preferably one that involves technology as well. With this, we can see the

strength and weakness of the technology product that was used and provide us with the

opportunity to improve on that.

A successful lesson delivery and also learners’ engagement are key elements in

successfully integrating technology in our classroom as well. Quality lesson plans deliberately

intend to stimulate learning through active participation (MacDonald and Phillips, 2005). When

a perfectly planned lesson is executed in the best way possible, we will achieve the expected

results. So often than not, teachers think that they are creating a perfect and amazing lesson

plan just to see it fall short and realizing that there were many aspects that need to be rectified.

Planning a lesson is one thing, but to deliver it successfully is entirely another thing. A wide

range and variability of techniques employed by the teacher that allows direct pupil

engagement are crucial in maintaining a sustained motivation for learning. Dull lessons will

fail. Not only will they fail, but will also tend to dull children to the process of school learning

(Golland, 1998). Technology not only enhances the lesson, it also makes room for fun

learning. There are a few things that we need to take into consideration when talking about a

successful technology integrated lesson delivery. One of it is to have a clear objective and

suitable teaching strategies. We also need to be sure that the strategy we use cater to the

students’ needs and also goes in line with the technology that we are going to use. Our lesson

delivery should also be able to actively engage the students. Students tend to learn thru

hands-on activity, which is by actively engaging themselves in the lesson. By using

technologies such as tablets or smartboard and with the help of cooperative learning

techniques, we can encourage students to partake in hands-on activities thus enhancing our

teaching and learning process. Kids nowadays are what we call digital natives. Unlike most of

the teachers who had to adapt themselves to the current world, these kids are born tech savvy.

It is their natural environment, to be in the mix with technology. When you bring these kids in

a more traditional learning environment, you tend to lose them. In order to stimulate their

responses and make them engaged with the lesson, technology plays a huge role.


Computer Assisted Language Teaching | Ravind Sivalingam

Teachers need to have a knack for selecting the best teaching aids for a lesson, as

teaching aid is considered one of the key elements in successfully integrating technology in

classroom. With knowledge dissemination becoming rather easy for students nowadays, the

responsibility falls on the shoulders of the teachers to find or create teaching aids which are

engaging and relevant at the same time. Bear in mind that teaching aids are only to assist

teachers in the teaching and learning process and not as a complete substitute to the teachers

themselves. The role of the teacher remains the same, which is to facilitate the learning. Do

not expect the teaching aids to do all the work and teachers can just sit back and relax,

especially when it comes to technology as there are a few dos and don’ts. Selecting

appropriate materials and tools are very important as it can make or break the lesson. It is the

difference between the success and failure of a lesson. Interactive teaching aids are some of

the best that can be chosen as it involves both teachers and students in teaching and learning

process. Here, teachers can create a scope for the students’ participation. Teachers can also

focus on giving individual attention as most of the teaching aids nowadays have features that

shows individual performances. It also helps the teachers to manage their time well and

reduce the workload. This gives space for the teachers to focus on much more important

aspects of teaching and learning such as monitoring and assessment. So teaching aid plays

an important role in reforming the language classroom.

To put it in a nutshell, integration of technology is vital in the ever growing field of

education. In order for us teachers to come up with the best teaching and learning process,

these four key elements play a vital role which are lesson planning, teacher’s delivery,

student’s engagement and also teaching aid. When we find the perfect formula involving all

four if these aspects, we have most certainly transformed our language classroom.


Computer Assisted Language Teaching | Ravind Sivalingam


Golland, J. H. (1998). A lesson plan model for the supervision of student teaching. Education,

118(3), 376-481.

Heinich, R., Molenda, M., Russell, J., & Smaldino, S. (2001). Instructional media and

technologies for learning. Engle Cliffs (7th edition), NJ: Prentice Hall.

Jensen, L. (2001). Planning lessons. Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language (pp.

403 - 413). Boston: Heinle & Heinle Publishers .

MacDonald, J.& Phillips, R.A.D. (2005). Developing teaching briefs and plan teaching

sessions. Education for Primary Care, 16, 496-498.

Schwab, K. (2015). The Fourth Industrial Revolution: What It Means and How to Respond.

Retrieved from https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2015-12-12/fourth-industrial-

revolution on 4 January 2018.