The Feasibility Of Educating English Language Learners
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In previous years the debate over bilingual education tended to focus more on the feasibility of educating English language learners in an English-only or dual language environment. However, in more recent years the focus has begun to shift towards how English language learners should be taught and with what tools. With information technology becoming more widespread, of course technology in the classroom is now a topic ripe with possibilities and the term multimedia is now widely heard in schools. Information in printed form has long been the traditional method for introducing concepts and lessons within the school system. However, education is now moving away from books into the world of technology as a way to increase learning activity. Technology is a great source to provide learning opportunities through several media formats. Multimedia use calls for a change in how teachers teach and how students learn in the 21st century bilingual classroom (Gilakjani, 2012).
During a recent teacher in-service with author and educator Jeff Anderson, he brought out the very important point that students today have become hyper-extended in their use of multimedia and have therefore trained their brains to lose focus in a manner very much the opposite of what educators normally would think possible. His personal opinion seems to contradict the viewpoint shared by so many others, that technology is a way to assist in the learning process. This is primarily true due to multimedia’s ability to present students with a wide variety of information through graphics, audiovisual, text and images in a way that allows them to assimilate a huge quantity of information (Gilakjani, 2012). This would be especially helpful for students who are bilingual see...
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... more dual language students benefit from the use of multimedia to improve their English language proficiency. Moreover, since multimedia are predominantly highly visual, English language learners rely heavily on its use to understand content, one of the most difficult areas of English language proficiency being the development of academic language. All styles of learners whether tactile, visual, auditory, kinesthetic, individual and group, benefit from the way multimedia is presented in partnership with the curriculum.
Teachers of bilingual and English language learners must take on the new roles of classroom facilitator or guide, integrator of technology, researcher of the best teaching methods, and designers of success lessons that utilize technology and, collaborator with other teachers who are excited about multimedia use in their classrooms (Gilakjani, 2012).