Technology and Change in English Language Teaching (ELT)
Keywords: computer mediated communication (CMC), computers are impacting upon change in ELT
School of Languages, University of Salford
Huw has over 20 years’ experience of working as an EFL\ESL practitioner, teacher trainer and researcher. He is widely published in a number of leading peer-reviewed journals including: Journal of English for Academic Purposes, ReCALL and The British Journal of Education Technology and has been a featured speaker at several international conferences. He is a member of the Higher Education Research Centre at the University of Salford and a member of the editorial board of the Asian EFL Journal.
This paper examines the ways in which computers are impacting upon change in ELT and argues that Asian countries are, in a sense, at the heart of this. The paper reviews and further develops a shorter forthcoming colloquium article in The British Journal of Education Technology and begins by linking the growth of English to the growth and widespread availability of computers. It briefly examines the ways in which computers have historically contributed to ELT with both pedagogical applications and by helping us understand the nature of the language; however, it is suggested that the Internet, and the resulting computer mediated communication (CMC), has now gone way beyond this to change the language itself. The implications of such change are then discussed from two perspectives. Firstly, for ELT’s long established notions of English as a foreign or second language (EFL/ESL); here it is suggested that we need to shift towards a more appropriate view of English as an international or global language (EIL/EGL). Secondly, the paper considers the implications for language teaching pedagogy and argues for a shift away from traditional notions of curriculum and syllabus towards task-based approaches.