Teaching Secondary English with ICT

Teaching Secondary English with ICT

Teaching Secondary English with ICT

Teaching Secondary English with ICT

Excerpt

Of all subjects, English must be the one which poses simultaneously most problems and most opportunities for using ICT in the classroom: most problems because it is a subject which is oracy based, and so many times, though hopefully not in the English classroom, the use of computers is interpreted in the classroom as an individual, screen focused and, sadly, silent (except for the tapping of keys) event; most opportunity because English is a subject ready to think about new ways of constructing reading and writing; about the pedagogical value of collaborative work and the possibilities afforded by the renaissance of learning made possible through ICT.

English, and English teachers (and we mean by this all those teaching English, media and drama), have of course thrived on being different. In a subject which deals with values and beliefs it would be a depressing state of affairs if we were relegated to the transmission of correct ways of punctuating text, or caring overly about the right uses of prefixes and suffixes. These are important: we would want to acknowledge that. But they are not at the heart of English. The dilemma perhaps is that ICT loans itself very well to the surface correction of text. Spell and grammar checks (with the caveats of the nonsenses that can be caused by the application of rules above sense that computers can come up with) enable a; focus on these areas which was not available before ICT. But ICT can do so much more. It is not, as Davies cautions, a 'solution' to bring about effective English . . .

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