Nelba Quintana Webhead and English TeacherNelba Quintana, a professor of English and a fellow Webhead has started off a really interesting discussion at the moment and one that is dear to my heart: in her blog, she is discussing the pros and cons of introducing language students to tools like “Technorati.”

Personally speaking I passionately believe that technology should be the medium and not the message when we are teaching languages. By that I mean that our students should be introduced to web tools and activities by their language teachers only if they have a direct relevance to language learning. It could always be argued that there will be lots of incidental learning going on when our students use tools like Technorati, but I don’t think this is good enough. I believe in the “C” (communication) part of I.C.T., not the “T” (technology) part so much.

IMHO we language teachers should be encouraging our students to use all this wonderful technology that allows them additional opportunities to communicate such as, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and so on. In general what my students in Italy lack is the chance for real, authentic practice of the language they are trying to learn. Anything that can give them another opportunity to do this is a real bonus if you ask me. Anything that doesn’t, well it doesn’t mean that it’s a waste of time, but I don’t think it should be our job to be introducing our students to these sorts of tools.

I will be really interested to see know what you guys think about this. Should we as language-teacher-techno “gurus” introduce our students to all ICT tools? Leave us a comment to let us know your opinions.

All the best,