the contribution of network-based technology.
The Internet has tremendous potential as a tool for teaching EFL. Sayers (1993) mentioned that network-based tech nology can contribute significantly to:
- Experiential Learning. The World Wide Web makes it possible for students to tackle a huge amount of human experience. In such a way, they can learn by doing things themselves. They become the creators not just the receivers of knowledge. Information is presented in a non-linear way and users develop more flex ible thinking skills and choose what to explore.
- Motivation. Computers are most popular among students as they are often associated with fun and games. Student motiva tion is therefore increased, especially whenever a variety of activi ties are offered. This in turn makes students feel more indepen dent.
- Enhanced student achievement. Network-based instruc tion can help pupils strengthen their linguistic skills by positively affecting their attitude towards learning and by helping them build self-instruction strategies and promote their self-confidence.
- Authentic materials for study. All students can use vari ous resources of authentic reading materials either at school or from their home. Those materials can be accessed 24 hours a day at a relatively low cost.
- Greater Interaction. Random access to Web pages breaks the linear flow of instruction. By sending E-mail and joining newsgroups, EFL students can communicate with people they have never met. They can also interact with their own classmates. Fur thermore, some Internet activities give students positive and nega tive feedback by automatically correcting their on-line exercises.
- Individualization. Shy or inhibited students can be greatly benefited by individualized, student-centered collaborative learn ing. High fliers can also realize their full potential without prevent ing their peers from working at their own pace.
- Independence from a single source of information. Al though students can still use their books, they are presented with opportunities to escape from canned knowledge and discover thou sands of information sources. As a result, their education fulfils the need for interdisciplinary learning in a multicultural world.
- Global Understanding. A foreign language is studied in a cultural context. In a world where the use of the Internet becomes more and more widespread, an English Language teacher’s duty is to facilitate students’ access to the web and make them feel like citizens of a global classroom, practicing communication on a glo bal level.
According to conventional wisdom the Internet consists of written materials. Therefore, it is suitable for teaching reading. Reading, in turn, has traditionally been associated with outdated grammar translation method in which foreign language was taught to enable students to read. However, in recent decades the emphasis has been put on communicative competence. Language is to be taught to enable communication. In fact, the Internet contains teaching materials which make it possible to teach every language skill.
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