Assistant Professor, Department of English, Shivprasad Sadanand Jaiswal College, Arjuni-Morgaon, Gondia, Maharashtra, India.
This research paper focuses on the role of ICT in developing English language skills among learners. In the era of high-speed internet, the English language is not far away from us. There are many ICT based tools available for learners. ICT world has provided a virtual environment in English for the learners. Teachers can exclusively show the videos which are related to the syllabi to the students. E-books and audiobooks are available freely in the world of the internet that can play a pivotal role in the development of English language skills. TED talk shows are available on YouTube, which will attract the English language learners. If the learners are watching the TED talk show continuously on the interesting topic, these will certainly have an impact on the overall development of the learners. English movies with subtitles can play a paramount role in creating an interest in the English language. Almost all people are interested in watching movies, these movies can generate interest among the younger generation. Every human being has the potential of understanding any new language when they put in the environment of a particular language. So ICT has provided a virtual environment of the English language for the learners in the modern period. The only thing, which is needed for the learners is a strong will power to learn through the continuous follow-up and practice.
Keywords: english language skills, ICT, E-books, audiobooks, TED talk, english movies.
Learning English language skills area very easy exercise in the age of technological advancement and communication facilities in comparison with the past periods. The trend in learning English has changed due to the availability of different tools. ICT in English Language teaching and learning in and outside the classroom has also changed the scenario in modern education. It is needful to explore the instrumental role of ICT in improving English language skills among learners. Present time, almost all the people, including teachers and students involved in the ICT method of communication in Whatsapp, Face book, Email, and other methods. Using such an ICT method of communication helps the learners to understand the language and prompt them to respond to the communication. When learners participate in such communication, bit by bit they do the practice of communication in their life.
The ICT communication revolution has a learning environment. Instead of entirely depending upon the teachers, the students can learn the language at their level by using different devices such as computers, televisions, and mobile phones. Learners have slowly lost their interest in the traditional way of learning. ICT based teaching method can impart the learning process more interesting than the traditional process. Today, it is most necessary to acquire the skill of handling both the computer and the English language. If you want to live smoothly in this world without depending upon others, functioning skills in both computers and the English language are very substantial in the new environment. The English language is the most important link language in the world. However, for the non-speakers of the English language, it is a foreign language. Here there is a challenge to the non-speakers of the English language. Almost all material of information has uploaded on the internet in the English language. For understanding such huge knowledge available on the internet, one needs to understand the English language.
ICT has not only helped the learners but also helped the teachers in their teaching. Teaching with the innovative method is impossible in the traditional method, but ICT based teaching is more easy and innovative and motivating also. Teachers can generate interest and maintain their attention in the class through different ICT tools. Showing the videos related to the syllabi to the students can generate interest among the students and merge the language with literature. When students watch such videos, they will understand exclusively in multiple levels of audio-video. Teachers can convince the students more effectively by showing videos, which are related to their syllabi.
E-books and audiobooks are very helpful in improving the English language skill among the students who are interested in reading literature and listening. Listening and reading can play a major role in understanding and improving the English language among the students. Listening is the primary process of learning any language. Therefore, those who hear the English language, naturally they pick up the understanding of that language and structure of that language has slowly developed in the listeners. So audiobooks can support as a tool to improve the skill of language among the students. Now the best E-books have incorporated with the audio. The excellent audio quality of such books will boost the vocabulary, grammar, and understanding of the listener. Simple E-books can also support to learners in improving the language, but the E-books with the audio facility are more effective because they do help the learners in two ways. The learners can read the books and at the same time, they hear the text through the audio facility.
Communication is the highest blessing to human beings. Therefore, man’s position is higher in the creations of the world. Asha Kaul wrote, “Man possesses the ability to communicate, which is much more than a composition of certain physical attributes, vocal chords, articulators, and so on. He has the ability to symbolize or to understand concepts in terms of images or symbols. It is this ability that helps him/her to communicate. Communication then, it may be stated, is much more than an understanding of spoken or written language. It is a composite of symbols, gestures, and illustrations that accompany either the spoken or the written word.” (Effective Business Communication, pp.1-2).
Learners can use the TED talk series in You Tube very effectively in developing the communication skill of the English language. If the learners are interested to listen and watch Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) Talks, it is a big opportunity for improving listening skills and put them in a virtual environment of the English language world. American non-profit organization, Sapling Foundation organizes these conferences all over the world under the slogan, “Ideas Worth Spreading”. Learners can choose their interesting videos from their tastes, watching these videos help them to improve vocabulary, comprehension, and pronunciation skills. Watching these programmes helps the learners to improve their pronunciation and more easily understand what is said. Today, learners live in YouTube Generation. These TED talks are highly inspiring to learners. TED talks can use as a great resource for learning the English language. Motivation plays a significant role in the process of learning any language. If the learners are not interested in the specific topic, they do not remember the key vocabulary and sentence structures. If the learners are watching the favourite person in an interesting topic, naturally they absorb in the talk and improve their English language.
Learners can watch TED talks with or without subtitles. The learners can watch the talk with the text of the talk, which is more helpful in improving vocabulary. For the learners of the English language, it is happy news. These talks are exclusively available on YouTube. Learners can download these videos and watch repeatedly for the improvement of the English language. TED app can download from the Play store and use it in smart mobile as per the convenience. Learners can watch the downloaded videos offline in their electronic devices.
Learners can watch English movies with subtitles, which help them to hear and understand spoken English completely. Listening and watching English words help the learners to understand the pronunciation and memorize the sounds. Reading helps also in improving the English language. However, listening is more important in the improvement of vocal communication. Almost all are interested in watching movies; especially students may have a good interest in watching movies. Watching movies is great fun and a common hobby among the common people. If you are an English language learner, who is attempting to learn English, then watching movies is not only a wonderful way to learn how to speak English fluently but also great entertainment in learning English.
Suppose, a learner is learning a new language, he/she has to go to class, read many books, doing many exercises to train in the language, or learn many things with great difficulty. If the exercise of learning the English language is very boring to the learner. Suppose, they leave all the books and turn to watch movies and recharge their interest in learning the language. Learners may have a fun experience in learning how to speak English fluently. When a learner is studying English from books or an English speaking course, they are very different from everyday English communications. Academic English is more formal than the daily English communications. Therefore, watching movies in English is a more innovative and interesting way to understand the language very naturally and analyse conversations in actual life. Watching movies is an excellent way to understand the way English communication is used in different cultures. This is one important and interesting way of ICT in learning the English language among the learners.
Another aspect of using this method for improving the English language is the real-life context set in the movies. When the learners learned any new words from a dictionary or any book while reading, there is more possibility of forgetting them. Because the learners do not use them regularly in their life and they do not get any chance to utilize them in daily life. However, in watching movies, learners will understand the vocabulary associated with the situation and understand how to use specific set words, which are not familiar with their life. Sethi and Dhamija wrote, “Normally, therefore, when we produce a speech sound, we intend it to be transmitted and heard. As this is the case, there are three stages at which a speech sound can be studied: the production stage, the transmission stage, and the reception (hearing) stage.” (A Course in Phonetics and Spoken English, p.13). In the process of watching movies, all these stages are processed; therefore, the movie watchers come across through the experience of real-life situations.
When learners watch movies, they can hear and understand English conversation fully. While hearing the dialogues in movies, how some words are pronounced, learners can remember and memorize specific sounds of the words. Reading the dialogue in subtitles will also help in improving English, but in the case of hearing, how to speak English is more effective and equally important. Learners can combine the two when they watch movies with subtitles. Watching the movie, reading the dialogue, and hearing the conversation will improve the learners’ reading skills, pronunciation skills and improve grammatical understanding. English language learning is always more successful when you learn in a multi-sensory manner. If the content is interesting and relevant to the context, at any difficulty also the learners can understand the situation. Interest will help learners how to speak English fluently.
There are many methods used in English language teachings like the grammar-translation method, structural method, and communicative method. Whichever method is adopted to teach the language, but the main thing is missing in these methods. These methods never worry about the interest of the learners. Learners’ interest must be created first; otherwise, the learners shall not become active participants. Therefore, the most important factor in language learning is depending upon the persons whether the learners are interested or not. Videos and colourful visual images can maintain the interest of the learners. Modern pedagogy should think over to create interest among the learners. The biggest challenge before the teachers in the modern period is to create an environment for using the English language for the learners. Interest, effort, continuous follow up for learning the language from the part of the learner is the most important elements, which normally work in the learners’ life.
Ultimately, it is a fact that language is learned through imitation from the speakers. Language is a system of signals. Bhaskaran and Horsburgh wrote, “It is necessary to know how to make these signals; this is achieved by imitation and practice. It is equally necessary to know what sets of signals to choose in a particular situation.” (Strengthen Your English, p.vii). In the early stage, it is very difficult to understand any language. However, every human being has the potential of understanding any new language, when they are put in the environment of a particular language. The English language is not an exception in this case.
Therefore, now learners who live in the world of high-speed internet connectivity and the generation of YouTube, everything is at the fingertip of the learners. The learners can access the English language environment virtually in their life by using ICT in their life. So nowadays, it is not a Himalayan task to learn the English language. If there is a strong will power among the learners, nobody can stop them from improving the language by using the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in their life.
Bhaskaran, M., P. and Horsburgh. Strengthen Your English, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1999.
Kaul, Asha. Effective Business Communication, New Delhi: Prentice-Hall, 2008.
Sethi, J and Dhamija. P., V. A Course in Phonetics and Spoken English, Prentice-Hall, New Delhi: 2010.
Sibi. K., J. (2020). English Language Skills through ICT Methods. Sparkling International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Studies, 3(2), 31-36.