The Role of ICT in English Teaching

Abdul Wadud

In this modern era of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), pedagogical methodologies are restructured in every domain of teaching and learning by using technologies. Teaching and learning English are also highly influenced by the recent advancement of ICT. Nowadays, it is easier to reach most of the human senses while teaching English to the students with the help of ICT, which was difficult using the conventional teaching methodologies in the past. Ensuring the maximum use of students' senses is considered an effective technique of teaching English [1]. There are four different sections of teaching or learning English namely- reading, writing, listening, and speaking where the use of maximum human senses is mandatory. Each of these sections is highly benefitted by using different technological tools. Various applications help a teacher make interactive class contents to present the class more attractively and engagingly to the students. Hence ICT has brought many new avenues and scopes into the table for teaching English to the students [2]. This paper studies some of those existing methods of ICT-based-English teaching to examine the role of ICT in teaching English. Besides, this paper intends to find out such more uses of ICT that can benefit English teaching.

Formerly, many researchers investigated the uses and the impacts of ICT on teaching English by studying or proposing new teaching methodologies. Shyamlee et al. in [3] examined the use of multi-media technologies in teaching English language to learners. The authors found that the learning motivation, concentration, and effectiveness of students were enhanced using multi-media classes. They emphasized using multi-media technologies in the classroom and recommended it to all the English teachers as it positively impacts the learning process with efficacy. On the other hand, Warschauer et al. introduced two novel ways to integrate ICT into the class such as cognitive and social approaches [4]. The former indicates the scope of increasing the learners' exposure to language learning in a meaningful way through technology. The latter suggests the opportunity for social interactions using technology to enhance real-life communication skills. In [5], the author investigated the factors and reasons for using the computer by teachers in classrooms. He found that teachers have a positive attitude towards computer-assisted teaching in the class. He added that teachers could not meet the required skills, competence, overall perception of ICT, and experiences of working with ICT to provide computer-assisted teaching in the classroom. Therefore, the author recommended ICT-based training for both the teachers and the learners. The work in [5] motivated many other researchers to structure the ICT training process for both the teacher and learner groups. However, this training mainly focuses on the teachers since the young generation of learners are already familiar with technology-based learning.

The author in [2] discussed the capabilities of ICT in English teaching. He stated that ICT increases the quality of English learning, reduces educational expenses, provides low-latency access to information and indirect learning worldwide, and offers an interactive and engaging learning experience. He further added that ICT provides the potential support to non-native teachers by providing the materials of native English-speaking teachers, which helps them design and prepare their classes accordingly with better linguistic and pronunciation skills. Also, ICT allows making a class interactive and visually appealing to the learners by using DVDs, projection tools, and interactive whiteboards. Alqahtani in [6] identified the problems of the obsolete English teaching pedagogy and showed how ICT-based pedagogy could help to enhance the teaching-learning process of English. He found that there were not enough trained teachers to take ICT-based English classes. The author showed that there is a lack of modern technological equipment for taking ICT-based classes. He recommended that a sufficient number of teachers be trained and the required technologies should be available to the institutions to ensure and provide the benefits of ICT in English teaching.

The author in [7] initially classified English language skills into two parts: input and output skills. Later each of these parts is divided into two other sub-parts. The former is classified into reading and listening skills and the latter is classified into writing and speaking. The author mentioned that each of these skills required specific educational tools in the learning process. Several English language tools significantly contribute to the ICT-oriented teaching-learning experience [8]. Multi-media technology in teaching English concerning a global perspective is studied in [9]. The author recommended that the teacher use multi-media-based teaching to students. According to the author, multi-media-based classes specially with the help of videos and slide-shows help students keep concentration in the class. The author also suggested the ICT-based assessment strategies. In [10], the author investigated the Bangladeshi perspective of using technologies in teaching English. He mentioned that the Bangladesh government had taken initiatives to update the conventional English teaching methods by technology-based teaching to follow the recent teaching trend worldwide. The national curriculum of Bangladesh is also advancing towards the current direction keeping these factors in mind. Bangladesh government arranges ICT training for all the teachers regularly and builds ICT-dependent labs and classrooms across the country from remote villages to modern towns [11]. The author in [10] further added that a developing country like Bangladesh has also felt the importance of ICT-based education and training to both the old and young generations.

The above discussion provides evidence of the effectiveness of the modern use of technologies in teaching English, proves the futility of the conventional teaching method, and supports the cause of replacing the traditional teaching method with ICT-based teaching. The study reveals that ICT-based teaching is more interactive and engaging for the learners, and the overall responsiveness in the class gets enhanced by using ICT tools in the class. The reasons above motivate us to study the role of ICT in English teaching to see how it provides benefits to teaching-learning and what more techniques can be incorporated to make the teaching more effective and fruitful. We have found a lack of trained teachers who can facilitate ICT-based English teaching and deficiency of skill-specific tools that can enhance the teaching-learning quality and mental adaptation awareness to incorporate ICT-based education by teachers. This study intends to address these stated issues to enhance teaching-learning experiences worldwide particularly in Bangladesh. It will be fascinating to see how efficiently the use of skill-specific tools impacts the overall English teaching.


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