Technology and English language learners: Can digital technology enhance the English language learning experience?

Claire Lecocq

Abstract


This article focuses on the topic of technology and its role in elementary classrooms. Specifically, technology's use in supporting English Language Learners is researched, yielding results that are important for those working in the field of education, including pre-service teachers. Questions that are acknowledged in this article include: How can ELL students’ learning be enhanced with the use of technology? What technologies are best for supporting language learning needs? What advantages and challenges may arise with the use of technology? Both online survey and interview methods are used to collect data which are analyzed and collated using Google Spreadsheets and the word cloud software, Tagxedo. Results from research show that technology can be very beneficial in supporting ELL students upon a number of conditions being met: 1. The technology is intuitive and user friendly. 2. The technology/program does not replace the role of the teacher. 3. Teachers feel comfortable using the technology themselves to best support the learner. This may mean more training for teachers in the field of technology is necessary.  4. The technology enhances the child’s learning, rather than replaces a traditional practice that is just as effective. This research highlights professional roles and responsibilities, an important aspect of teaching, and is significant for educators striving to improve their teaching practice.


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