An Appraisal of Information and Communication Technologies as New Media Tools for Language Teaching and Learning in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria

By David, Imhonopi; Moses, Urim Ugochukwu et al. | Ife Psychologia, March 2017 | Go to article overview

An Appraisal of Information and Communication Technologies as New Media Tools for Language Teaching and Learning in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria


David, Imhonopi, Moses, Urim Ugochukwu, Anthony, Onwumah, Olufemi, Kasumu Taiwo, Ife Psychologia


Introduction

Information and communication technologies have been said to have positively impacted the various sectors of the society such as governance, agriculture, medicine, banking and commerce, education, transportation, inter alia (Imhonopi, 2009; Imhonopi, Urim & Igbadumhe, 2013), and they are being predicted to have the same impact in enhancing language teaching and learning in tertiary institutions in Nigeria. This enthusiasm had been shared by Barad (2009), who contends that a gale of change is blowing in the pedagogy of English Language Teaching (ELT) and that ICTs have initiated new possibilities in the classroom, challenging and redefining the role of the teacher, the nature and context of learning, as well as the function and relative importance of course contents.

The influence of technology in education has been recognised as a widespread phenomenon. According to Yuvienco and Huang (2005), within English or Foreign Language Teaching, the rapid development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has prompted changes in the ways and methods of teaching and preparing students for continuous learning and effective use of the language to communicate with people from various parts of the globe. These technologies also provide various types and forms of information ranging from sound, video, images to animations; thus ICTs have quadrupled the possibility of language learning.

Consequently, rapid advances in the development of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) have simultaneously been seen to offer new opportunities for enhancing the quality and effectiveness of language teaching and learning even in developed countries (Edewor, Imhonopi, & Urim, 2014; Imhonopi, 2009; Imhonopi, Urim & Igbadumhe, 2013; Kumar & Tammelin, 2008). Generally speaking, ICTs have brought about a revolution in education and training, as new technologies have enabled new and accessible communication which has had a profound impact on learning processes and has led to innovative learning approaches such as the use of social networks or virtual worlds. In particular, this trend is especially notable within the field of language learning, where new ICTs have allowed for increased interaction between teachers and learners (key factors for the acquisition of language competencies) and broadened the options and contexts used in this interaction. Such options useful for language pedagogy and learning include but are not limited to social software like blogs, wikis, and podcasting and others like PowerPoint, teleconferencing, Compact Disks (CDs), internet, webquests, e-portfolios, digital storytelling and participation in various web projects.

The development of ICTs, undoubtedly, influences the process of using them in everyday classroom teaching and learning. Thus, ICTs provide an array of new possibilities of using them in the modernisation and flexibilisation of the teaching-learning process and they help to increase the quality of education and to meet the requirements set by the contemporary knowledge society. This is true whether for professionals bent on building/developing their career as it is important for teachers and students alike. ICTs no longer serve to be a simple additional means but are an indispensable part of the modern and contemporary learning environment.

However, although technology is increasingly prevalent in everyday life and has permeated different sectors in society, many educational institutions in Nigeria have been perceived as either lagging behind in fully recognising, implementing and utilising these ICTs or struggling with the poor state of infrastructural development in the country including lack of stable energy provision, which has made it very difficult for the adoption and maximisation of ICTs within tertiary institutions (Edewor, Imhonopi, & Urim, 2014; Imhonopi, 2009; Imhonopi & Urim, 2010).

In this paper, the authors are concerned about the role of new media tools as an aid to language teaching and learning in tertiary institutions in Nigeria. …

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