AWEJ Volume.4 Number.3, 2013                                                                                              Pp.300-307

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Technology Use in the Language Classroom: Paradigms, Experiments, and Recommendations

Sanaa Riaz
Applied Linguistics Program, College of Liberal Arts
Ashford University, Denver, Colorado, USA



The use of technology in language learning brings forth several challenges to task-based teaching and student preparation in colloquial usage. As the internet becomes a mode for new forms of written, oral and visual languages everyday with their unique community of users, the last two decades have seen a redefinition of the pedagogical paradigms that inform language literacy goals in the classroom. Where technology-based activities are challenging teachers who wonder its efficacy in meeting the language proficiency goals of their syllabus, teachers who have incorporated such activities to teach language have not seen overwhelming success, thereby making them hesitant to experiment. The purpose of this paper is to bring pedagogical challenges posed by technology use in language classrooms to the forefront and discuss a few case studies from across continents to highlight how a constructivist approach to language teaching using technology and effective teacher scaffolding allows for student engagement in their own learning and helps teachers achieve the desired proficiency level in their classes. The paper ends with a look at the limitations of and recommendations for incorporating technology in language teaching.

Keywords: technology-based activities, constructivist approach, cultural experiments, cultural competence, critical thinking.


Sanaa Riaz, Assistant Professor in the College of Liberal Arts at Ashford University, Denver,
Colorado, U.S.A. I have experience teaching Anthropology, Applied Linguistics, ESL, foreign
language, and History courses at the undergraduate level. I have presented my research on
language use in schools at national and area studies conferences, such as American Association
of Applied Linguistics, American Anthropological Association, Middle East Studies Association,
Annual South Asian Conference, served on TESOL and AAUW proposal review panels and on
the PARCC Bias and Sensitivity Committee.