The Importance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Language Teaching

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ICT

The information and communication technology (ICT) has been spreadly used in every aspect of human life, including the aspect of education. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is one for the issues that divides the world: the digital divide. In the richer countries, schools can afford, or are supplied with, infrastructure, hardware and software, that develop generations of e-literate students, highly advantaged in the new technology. In the poorer countries, school administrators may be without electricity, let alone sufficient bandwidth, or students with personally-owned laptops.  ICT has the potential, also, to close this divide.

The digital divide raises the imperative to set educational priorities for the use of ICT in schools and to understand its efficacy in teaching and learning. It is essential to establish best practice worldwide so that scarce resources are used effectively. While the ICT benefits include increased productivity, professional presentation of students’ work, and an enriched learning environment, the implementation of ICT does not constitute a panacea for all educational woes, and, if poorly instituted, can add to a school’s problems and introduce a spate of new woes. Technology has immense power to transform learning in and beyond the classroom and educational decision-makers need to address, understand and define the relationship between technology and improved learning, so that the market within education is not exploited for commercial gain only.

The information and communication technology (ICT) has some advantages in our life. The advantages can be seen in three aspects; the availability of technologies to be used, reliability of materials, and employment. Firstly, from the aspect of availability of the technologies used, ICT have advantages which are: teachers and students of English can have access to the most uptodate sources and information rapidly and cheaply, the information also can be found either on the internet or by using specialized software. Beside that, many focused exercise can be found on the net completely for free and software can be bought via internet or in any store.

Another advantage from the aspect of reliability of materials, ICT has function to give many sources from which a class can be taught, the teacher can select the ones that fit better to the students’ needs according to their age, level, and abilities. Moreover, many ELT sources can be found through one of ICT product which is the Internet, like discussion groups, interactive book reading, sound recording, games, talking books, chat among others, and so on. And the last, from the aspect of employment ICT provides society with more jobs in areas such as web designing, system analyzing, computer programming, hardware and software developing, and etc.

Educator-training institutions need to incorporate appropriate computer skills and knowledge of effective exploitation of the technology within teacher-training courses, as well as continuing professional development. The legitimacy of what comes across the internet needs to be observed with vigilance. Educational authorities need to be engaged, produce educational programmes, so that they strengthen choices, particularly on the ethical issues, which impact on morality and cultural traditions through the wider access to information. The ownership of copyright material on the internet, as it relates to schools, is an issue that will require clarity.

However, there are still many people who are not capable to use any kind of ICT product. It is not possible for some teachers to update their knowledge on technologies while they are still having no abilitty to use it. And also, the updating of knowledges becomes nearly impossible in cases that there is no sponsor ormoney to support it. Finally, the relationship between ICT proficiency and learning outcomes requires further research and proof.

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