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Saturday, February 13, 2010

International Seminar on Technology Enhanced Language Learning: The Way Forward - A Report

Following is the report of the International Seminar on Technology Enhanced Language Learning: The Way Forward organised by District Centre for English, Thrissure, Kerala on 10, 11 and 12 February 2010. Jijo KP helped me in the preparation of this report. I am grateful for his assistance.

Day One

1. Therambil Ramakrishnan, MLA, Thrissur: While requested the teachers to adopt technology emphasised on taking to technology with a pinch of salt.

2. APM Mohammad Hanish, IAS, Director of Public Instructions, Kerala, in his presidential address emphasised on the centrality of the human teacher in the process of ICT education.

3. Kapil Kapoor, JNU – Key note address.

Prof. Kapur mapped the changes that are taking place in our educational system due to ICT and drew our attention to the assumptions behind those shifts. He found shifts in existing social organisation in terms of rejection of authority, ability and move from object to subject or learner-centeredness. The shift, he said, is proposed with the assumption that the students are passive and non-interactive in the ‘traditional’ classrooms and that control is not necessary in terms of grading and that we should move to uncontrolled exposure from selective exposure. Prof. Kapur’s lecture invited us to interrogate the shifts and the assumptions seriously so that a more constructive pedagogy and curriculum can be evolved in the post-ICT period.

4. SDhanavel, Anna University, Chennai, in his presentation sharing his experience in Anna University stressed on the importance of using home grown low-cost models for pedagogy and to resist the manipulation of the education by the market.

5. Kirsten Anderson, USA, introduced using of theatre in teaching language to beginners of English Language Learning among Dalits and using DVD short films using folk materials. She also looked at English as a matter of social intervention.

6. Steven Herder spoke about using different ICT tools for two purposes, 1) professional development of the teacher, whereby the teacher can connect to the teaching community on line and grow interacting with them, 2) to enable the students to learn language better and with more excitement.

7. RJ Kalpana, Chennai: presented a paper on the use of blogs as a cost effective and innovative way of engaging with student’s learning.

8. Sunder Singh, Karunya University, Coimbatore : Drew attention to the widening gap between the digital natives and digital immigrants and the danger of a teacher becoming a technological administrator and supervisor.

9. James Simpson, University of Leeds, UK – in his online presentation drew attention to the shift in the nature of language and communication used online.

Day Two

10. Kamala, LFC, Guruvayoor, said that ICTs have been changing the way writing has been in practice for a long time.

11. Devaki Reddy, IIT, Chennai, spoke about using the internet resources for better language learning especially collocation and diction. She spoke of the need of teachers becoming facilitators in the process of language developments by students using online resources so that they can become independent in their learning.

12. Anil Pinto, Christ University, Bangalore – A different socio-political condition has emerged due to ICT – the digital condition. And elaborated on the need to carefull rethinking curriculum, pedagogy, testing and evaluation so that we are able to have a less violent society facilitated by ICT.

13. KJ Varghese, Christ College, Kerala, spoke of using learning through Mlearning or mobile phone enabled learning. He shared the software and hardware and strategies required for this.

14. Kalyan Chattopadhaya, Leeds University, UK, spoke on the use of chat and the different linguistic and social dimensions emerging in interactions over the cyberspace.

15. Presentation on language lab by Orell Techno Systems – demonstrated the possiblites of using language lab to enhance language learning differently. Questions of Indian English, need to subscribe to international standards were raised in this session.

16. Prabodh Chandra Nayar, Kerala University spoke on the need to give a gradual exposure to language syntactic structures.

17. K Elango, Anna University, Chennai, in his workshop demonstrated how to use material and methods in language teaching and more importantly use the exiting media to encourage students to write nad publish

18. Thiru, Teledata, Chennai, demonstrated on how to transfer administrative work to computer and showed how electronic modules can be used to enable enhanced learning.

Day Three

19. ME Premanand, MC College, Calicut, traced the history of infographics and showed how to use them for enhanced language learning.

20. P Bhaskaran Nair, Pondicherry University – need to think the language and social system in the context of the changing socio-political conditions. His presentation reflected the need to seriously look at the theories of language and language acquisition seriously and look at the new evolving pedagogies and philosophies of second language acquisition suspiciously.

21. Anwar Sadat, Director, IT@School, Kerala, mapped the history of in Kerala from IT to ICT enabled learning and the kind of strategies used to make the transitions.

22. Sijo and Jaimon, Kerala in the presentation showed the possibility of taking ICT to the secondary classroom through their experiments with podcasting.

23. Maya Pandit - Pro VC EFL University, Hyderabad, spoke on the present condition of education and ICT penetration in India and ways in which EFL is engaging with such a scenario.

24. Michael Warren Sonneleitner, spoke and views on Gandhi on technology and their relevance today. He also made a case study of privatized education in the US and its disastrous outcomes in the US.

Summary: All presentations brought out the narrative of crisis. But the location of crisis by one group was placed in existing ‘traditional’ pedagogies the other placed it in the way new technological or social developments. The answer to the crisis by the first group was to shift to ICT as a pedagogic method or end in itself. The second group has two answers, one, to continue using the existing methods which are sufficient to address the language learning needs; two suspect the existing and proposed ICT based pedagogies and think of a pedagogy which is more in sync with the cultural, social and political needs of the community which is learning English as the second language.

Reports on the Seminar: (Please click on the headlines for the full reports)

ELTI may be set up in Thrissur

‘Use technology to enhance classroom experience’

‘Gandhi wanted people to control technology’


Anonymous said...

hello sir,
It was a nice report n I was also a participant there.As a teacher researcher your report helped me to get the an overall view of this international seminar held in Trichur. I congratulate the DCE Trichur and ELTAI Thrissur Chapter for making this seminar a historic one

Anil Pinto said...

Thank you.

najma said...

Hai Anil,
I had been so busy on the first and the third days of the seminar with a lot of associated works,that I missed many of the presentations..Now that you have posted the report here, it has turned to be of great use for me..and I wish to have either an abstract or the full of your paper,if you dont mind. My mail ID is Thank you so much.