Learning another language can often be a difficult task, especially at later stages of development. It is widely understood that learning a language as early as possible the development of one’s mind is the best and easiest way to learn a language. However, most times either parent do not see the need to learn a second language or learning a second language such as English is not able to be taught with those available.
Yet those looking to learn English have been able to be assisted by a computer program, applications, and different hardware for almost 30 years. The technology to help someone learn English as a second language has advanced considerably even within the last 10 years. Even if the core curriculum of the teaching program is not technologically focused or computer-aided there are peripheral technologies that can help students in learning English as a second language.
Learning a Language
Is one of the most learned second languages in the world computer-assisted language learning has been mainly focused on learning English. Yet learning English is also considered to be one of the most difficult languages to master in the world. There are three major areas that students of English tend to have issues in the learning process. The first and largest difficulty is generally pronunciation within the English language.
The two consonants ‘th’ together in the English language produces a sound that is very rare in most other languages. Another major stumbling block is phonemic contrasts such as beat versus bit vowels, bet versus bat, or full versus fool. Other major stumbling blocks include the complexity and grammar for tense-aspect-mood forms, modal verbs and idiomatic usages. Vocabulary rounds out the trio of difficult aspects of language learning. Yet these difficulties can be overcome through variety of computer and technological advances.
Technology for Oral Skills
One of the best uses for technology in learning the language includes the use of audio repetition. Native English language learners have a wealth of nursery rhymes, songs and traditional stories that aid them in their own learning of English language. Today with the advent of the Internet many of the same oral traditions can be found online to help other English learners. Talking books, podcasts, YouTube and other audio and video files can help learn English through an oral tradition and is available at any time.
Other tools can include hardware options such as smart phones or other recording devices to help new English learners with their own pronunciation through audio playback. Playing back these recordings helps identify grammatical errors, inaccuracy in pronunciation, and helps give self encouragement.
e-Tools for Language Practice
There are a host of applications, computer programs and online communities that can help new English language learners immerse themselves in the English language. It is widely known that being able to practice a new language is one of the most important aspects of being able to learn it and apply it effectively.
For those individuals learning English as a second language sometimes in their own communities this can be difficult. Yet through online or Internet technologies such as videoconferencing, online immersive gaming worlds such as Second Life and Open Sim, and instant messaging tools such as blogging, email and texting can provide the answer.
Learning English as a second language can be difficult for solitary students no matter where they are located. Students that live in a traditional one language home even within the United States often have difficulties with certain aspects of the learning process. By using technology to help learn English the students can enjoy a much faster learning process and adoption of a new language.