Transforming Language Learning through Technology

Abstract

As is the case in many educational systems worldwide, secondary education in Thailand is largely teacher-centered. Students transitioning from this educational system to liberal arts universities in Thailand and beyond face serious disadvantages. The liberal arts model, which emphasises enquiry, problem solving, and critical analysis, stands in stark contrast to teacher-centered models of education, which value passivity, obedience, and memorization. This presentation demonstrates a technology-based methodology geared toward preparing students to enter an English-medium liberal arts program at a Thai university. This methodology, which is being applied in an intensive EFL program for incoming freshmen, makes use of online tools such as Google Drive, Google Hangouts, and VoiceThread. The technologies used to facilitate this methodology have the potential to change many aspects of language teaching. Students collaborate to conduct research and to create content that is relevant to their own experience, practicing their language skills and engaging meaningfully with their peers. In the process of researching, discussing, and presenting their findings, students construct their own understanding of contentious topics and controversial current events. Through this process of exploration and interaction, students are empowered to take greater responsibility for their own learning, beginning a personal transformation that will continue throughout their time in the liberal arts program. During this presentation, two lecturers currently implementing this methodology will provide examples of online tools and methodologies that can be applied in a wide variety of contexts.



Author Information
Alexander Nanni, Mahidol University International College, Thailand
Joseph Serrani, Mahidol University International College, Thailand

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2014
Stream: Languages education and applied linguistics (ESL/TESL/TEFL)

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