Technology in Chinese Language Instruction-Theories and Practice
Language teaching methods and approaches have changed from emphasizing memorization to understanding and reproducing utterance, from feeding students information to students fetching information, and from teacher-centered to student-centered. In short, it has become very important to make in and out of 치ass activities meaningful and should involve students actively. However, to app1y these teaching principles and make teaching effective are challenging tasks. Over the later half of the last century, With the advent of mainframe competers, personal computers and the Internet, that is email and the World Wide Web, and the Power Point in the 21st century, there has been an explosion in the use of modern technologies as language teaching tools. These tools can facilitate students" language acquisition; they can also be used by instructors and scholars, if designed properly, to test various subjects related to language acquisition such as the learning behaviors of students. Instructors can use the result of these studies to tailor and/or modify their teaching methods and strategies in their everyday classroom; and researchers can test the validity of the hypotheses and/or theories of language learning and teaching. Since the l960s, European scholars and language specialists have designed a good number of such tools and have also discussed quite extensively the design and use of multimedia technology and its effectiveness in language instruction and acquisition in recent times. Since the 1990s, Chinese linguists and Chinese language specialists have also developed quite a few Chinese language learning tools using technology. Some of these tools have been or are being evaluated for their effectiveness in aiding Chinese language learning and teaching. There are three parts in this paper: (1) Introducing briefly the underlying theories and principles related to the development and implementation of computer assisted language learning (CALL) courseware in general; (2) Discussing the effectiveness of using CALL in Chinese language instruction and introducing and evaluating briefly the language courseware developed or under-development at the University of California, Santa Barbara (e.g. CyberChinese); and (3)Bringing up certain questions prior to the design and implementation of CALL
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