Sunday, 13 October 2013

Language Learning with Technology by Graham Stanley

I have just written a review on Amazon for 'Language Learning with Technology - Ideas for integrating technology in the classroom' by Graham Stanley.  (Although I actually ordered it from Wordery).

I cannot recommend this book highly enough!  I have just read it cover to cover while travelling at the weekend, and I just want to start using all the ideas straight away!  The examples are given for the English classroom, but as a teacher of French and German, I can see that the ideas can be transferred to any other language.

 Some of the reasons I like the book so much:


- Its rationale is intelligent and very well explained

- The 'principled approach' advocated toward technology puts relevant, effective and efficient pedagogy at the core of the decision about its use.  Successful learning is more important than using the technology 'because it is there' ('The Everest' effect, as I have now learnt from the book!)


 - The organisation of ideas by 'objective' (integrating technology, building a learning community, vocabulary, grammar, listening, reading, writing, speaking, pronunciation, project work, assessment & evaluation) rather than by technology is most helpful for lesson planning

- The clear, consistent lay-out of the ideas makes the book very readable, and a true 'quick reference' for a busy teacher


- The short introductions to each section succinctly summarise the variety of ways in which the use of technology allows for learning which could not happen before (as well as how it can enhance existing practice).  As well as being enlightening and interesting, any PGCE student would find them invaluable for essay-writing.

- Just reading about the ideas is engaging, so I am sure that putting them into practice will be even more engaging!

- The ideas are presented along with very sensible 'practical' tips which anticipate the reality of a classroom environment

- I am sure that the examples will continue to be relevant well beyond 2013.  The author has taken care to describe the activities independently of specific software in the main body of the text (very useful examples are given in appendices)and has set up a website to complement the book.

 Thank you, Graham Stanley, for sharing ideas in this accessible way.

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