Distance learning and foreign language teaching

Abstract : Among numerous modes of technology enhanced learning there are not many that have received as much attention as distance learning. Stimulated by the recent rapid developments in Web technologies, researchers in both ICT and education are constantly working to make the most of technological resources and put them to the best pedagogical use. In the area of foreign language teaching a lot has been done to cover a variety of world languages, but there are constant attempts for new solutions, taking into consideration specific needs of language learners. This paper is based on our experience in implementing and the desire to improve a set of three academic English language courses at the Faculty of Information Technology (FIT), the first university institution that have introduced distance learning system in Serbia and delivers academic programmes both traditionally and as distance learning. The first part of the paper presents the technological aspect of the FIT e-learning system, common for all FIT courses. Then we move on to discuss the major specificities of foreign language teaching. Next, we examine the process of development and implementation of English courses at FIT in terms of general course design, selection of teaching materials, technological and pedagogical processing of course materials, the role of the teacher, student support and motivation, performance assessment, course evaluation, and key differences between the two modes of delivery which have to be taken into account. The final part of the paper deals with the noted inadequacies and difficulties of technological and pedagogical nature, as well as challenges and new steps in improving the English courses at FIT. In conclusion, we highlight the complexity of technological, organizational, and not the least, pedagogical issues involved, but also hope to provide a solid starting point for more ambitious projects concerning distance learning and foreign language teaching.
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Miroslav Trajanovic, Dragan Domazet, Biljana Misic-Ilic. Distance learning and foreign language teaching. Balkan Conference in Informatics (BCI 2007), 2007, Bulgaria. pp.441-452. ⟨hal-00190064⟩

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