Learning & Teaching Foreign Languages

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Watch this video developed for adult education by the California Education Department where a teacher explains how she uses an interactive whiteboard in her EFL class.

Download these exercises to apply constructivist concepts from this module to this classroom situation, then check your answers.

What can we conclude about interactivity with the IWB in the second language classroom?


Just as the Communicative Language Teaching approach has not always created genuinely communicative classrooms (see Direct versus indirect methods), so interactive technologies do not guarantee pedagogically useful classroom interactions.  In this example, we see technical interactivity, where the teacher and one student interact with the IWB, but little pedagogical interactivity.

Some researchers and teacher trainers are exploring ways to use interactive whiteboards to implement constructivist approaches to teaching; one example is the ITiLT project (Interactive Technologies in Language Teaching) involving some of the authors of these papers:

Beauchamp, G. & Kennewell, S. (2010). Interactivity in the classroom and its impact on learning. Computers & Education, 54, 759-766.

Cutrim Schmid, E. (2010). Developing competencies for using the interactive whiteboard to implement communicative language teaching in the English as a Foreign Language classroom. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 19(2), 159-172.

Mathews-Aydinli, J. & Elaziz, M. F. (2010). Turkish Students’ and Teachers’ Attitudes towards the use of Interactive Whiteboards in EFL Classrooms. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 23(3), 235-252.

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