Using technology with young learners of English- Recommendations

Before starting to read this post, please read the introductory post and the task posts about the project.

Based on my experiences on the planning and implementation processes of this project, I have the following recommendations for the teachers who would be interested in using technology in the young learners classroom:

1- It is very important to guide the students for both the task and technology use. In our project, the English teacher introduced the task in the classroom and demonstrated the use of the accompanying tool on the Whiteboard. For each task, two handouts, one in English to introduce the task and one in Turkish, to give step-by-step guidance on the use of the tool, were prepared.

2- Young learners, as digital natives, are very motivated to use technology. By creating meaningful and enjoyable tasks for them, we can benefit from their high motivation.

3- It is important to check the availability of technology for each student. During the project, some students used the teacher’s computer for the tasks requiring voice recording.  We should be ready to give such support when needed.

4- The English proficiency level of the students in the project was low. Therefore, for each task, we created a sample product. Students saw the sample before they created their own product. For the tasks requiring writing, we also provided students with some prompts to facilitate the writing process.

5- For the project, we created a blog page. Sharing students’ products is essential for such a project. As their responses in the interview revealed, students loved seeing their products on the blog and shared them with their families.

6- When students completed their products and when the products were uploaded on the blog, each week, the teacher spent one class hour to go over the products and give feedback. The feedback of the teacher mostly focused on meaning.

7- During the study, some students failed to complete the tasks on time. The teacher followed them very closely and contacted the parents for late and/or missing assignments.

8- At the end of the study, the students perceived an increase in their English proficiency. Their teacher had the same perception for the students’ improved language ability.

I hope this project inspires you to use technology mediated tasks in your own teaching context. Please feel free to contact me for any questions.

Thank you.