ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF USING COMPUTER
NETWORK TECHNOLOGY IN LANGUAGE TEACHING
By Huynh Thi Bich Ngoc,
M.A. in TESOL,
The University of Queensland, Australia
Over the past few years, together with magnificent technological advances, computer network technology is now exerting its influence on various aspects of life including government, business, economics, and undoubtedly, education as well. Under such a circumstance, there has been a significant increase of interest in using computers and it applications not only in Information Technology classrooms but also in the field of language teaching and learning. The role of computers in language instruction has become an important issue involving language teachers all over the world. In order to have a more thorough perspective on this issue, let us discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of using computer network technology in language teaching.
In terms of advantages, first of all, computer network technology tools such as the Internet, e-mail, chat rooms, and the Word Wide Web can be used to provide students with a strong motivation for learning the language. Since motivation is considered as playing a key role in the success of language learners (Gardner and Lambert, 1972), one of the language teachers’ responsibilities is to provide activities which the learners will find intrinsically motivating. Encouraging the students to use the Internet in their learning, meanwhile, is a motivational push to students who are bored with the traditional classroom teaching method in which they have information spoon-fed to them. The Internet can help language teachers generate motivation in the students as stated by Chun & Brandl, 1992, “the interactive and multimedia capabilities of the Internet make it a motivating learning tool”. E-mail and Internet chat rooms are interactive and allow students to communicate quickly and easily with their classmates, their teacher, and even with native speakers of the...