The arguments of whether technology is good or bad for education are constantly up for debate. However, our beliefs are open in that we believe in technology as much as we believe in traditional forms of learning techniques. The requirement of foreign languages is only becoming more apparent across the world, whether for jobs, moving to a different country or just travelling the globe.
According to an article in TIME, it states that languages are slowly becoming less spoken and in fact starting to become extinct. The world on average is losing one language “roughly every three months,” according to linguist David Crystal. He goes on to explain that the key to keeping languages alive is to ensure the next generation of people remains engaged with languages. This is where technology can really play a part in preserving languages spoken around the world.
Nowadays students require more than just textbooks and a tutor writing on a whiteboard. There is an increase in demand for learning applications and lessons to be interactive, engaging and fun. Students need to be actively engaged without being overwhelmed. The introduction of technology in this area can really streamline the traditional forms of learning.
Newly built platforms and apps allow for a “study anywhere, anytime” approach for learning. As a result of this new approach, it encourages students to start a new language or become fluent in a language they have been meaning to master but not had the time. It allows students to stay organised yet still effective when studying. New technology can provide tools to allow for resources to be readily available at the palm of your hand.
Learning foreign languages – the view from the EU
“One of the EU’s multilingualism goals is for every European to speak 2 languages in addition to their mother tongue. The best way to achieve this would be to introduce children to 2 foreign languages from an early age. Evidence suggests this may speed up language learning – and boost mother tongue skills too.”
Encouraging the younger generation to acquire multiple languages is clearly on the European Union’s agenda. Whilst this is not compulsory, the EU is promoting this for a better overall economy, as essentially our students of today are the skilled workforce of the future.
Therefore if we as a society are going to push this as an agenda to change the future, the industry requires a help along the way. That includes huge investments into Artificial Intelligence, new systems, apps and much more online visual resources. This is only possible with technology.
Fortunately, emerging technologies and their increasing use in classrooms and at home offer an opportunity to vastly improve the situation; evidence shows that technology has a positive impact on language learning and we shouldn’t ignore this.