The Role of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) in Teaching English Language and Literature

Abstract :

Today in the fast moving world where everything is digitalized the education sector should not stay behind because it is education which ensures the future of the citizens and the progress of the country. It is very common that the use of ICT in higher education in the field of business, computer science, accountancy, management, administration, engineering and medical science and information technology can be easily thought of but what about the use of ICT tools in the so called traditional subjects of history, economics, literature and other areas of humanities. In the present paper I would like to focus on how ICT can make the study of English Language and Literature interesting and live .ICT is crucial to supplement the conventional or traditional mode of education. The word supplement here is important because technology cannot replace the teacher as such. The use of ICT can supplement or add to the traditional mode. In the present context of technology and information world, the traditional mode of teaching seems quite monotonous and in most of the college and university across the country is taught the way where the teacher speaks for an hour and leaves the class. On the contrary students too get tired and bored by listening monotonous lectures. But the use of ICT in teaching English Literature and Language can revolutionize the way the subject is seen, taught and thought of. It can motivate and keep the students engaged because ICT tools work at different levels- the students can have the opportunity to see, read, visualize, hear, ponder, discuss, interact and learn. This can be achieved through various means of involving ICT.

Key words: monotonous, language, literature, motivate, interact, information, traditional, technology

ICT:----Information $ Communication Technology is popularly known by its acronyms. ICT which is a combination of these powerful words- Information, Communication and Technology . It has been described what these words means with reference to ICT in details as follows:

INFORMATION : The word informarion has been derived from the Latin word ‘ Informare’ which means the formation of mind or teaching. “Information is any fact provided and or learned about something or someone” – Oxford Dictionary

COMMUNICATION : The word Communication has been derived from the Latin word ‘Communicare’ which means to share. “ Communication is the imparting or exchange of information by speaking , writing or using some other medium of successful conveying or sharing ideas and feelings or a letter or messages containing information or news, or means of sending or receiving information such as telephone lines or computers.” ---Oxford Dictionary

TECHNOLOGY : The word technology has been derived from the Greek word ‘ Tekhnologia’ which means systematic treatment . “ Technology is the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry or machinery and devices developed from scientific knowledge.”--- Oxford Dictionary

Thus ICT is an umbrella term which includes diverse set of technological tools and resources used to communicate , create, store and mange information. It includes a mixture of technologies where applications and devices that are used for facilitating communication such as cellular phones, radio, video, television, computers and satellite systems among others. Internet and computer technology have covered all branches of knowledge and information. How can literature and language remain untouched? As far as technology is concerned, it can be used quite profitably in class rooms. Teachers can make use of ICT quite reasonably in the teaching of language and literature. The major areas where ICT can help teaching of language and literature are as follows:

  1. 1. It is a well known fact that the visual is always more effective than spoken words. In ICT there are several visual aids available such as slides, picture, images, videos and films of thousands of subjects. Teachers can have easy access to such visual materials.
  2. 2. There are also online resources available on internet. Both teachers and students can use online resources for better understanding of literature and language. Hundreds of e-journals, e-books and videos are accessible online. Teachers can use them in the classroom for better clarity of topic or subject.
  3. 3. Teachers can ask the students to submit their projects and assignments online and the teachers can review them online with necessary comments. Students can correct and improve their work with the help of these comments and instructions.
  4. 4. In modern times thousands of video clips are available on different subjects. There are original poetry recitations or talks by great poets and writers. Teachers can use these video clips in the class rooms and students can get a lot of benefit from it. To listen to a poet or a writer himself is a wonderful experience and such things can inspire the students beyond their imagination.
  5. 5. Further teachers can prepare power point presentations in which they can use video clips. Power point presentations should not be too lengthy. It should contain relevant topics and slides. The slides should have brief details. The captions should be catchy and meaningful. While discussing PPT the teachers should focus on relevant points only.
  6. 6. The students of English Literature can fet the information regarding the writer and their works on Google, Wikipedia and other hundreds of such sites. There are also critical articles available on writers. There are also various applications available that can help the students learning both literature and language.
  7. 7. In modern times the students can create their own website using images and music. Websites can help them sharing ideas with others easily.
  8. 8. Online libraries are a new phenomenon in the present scenario There are online libraries that cater to the requirements of all students, teachers and researchers.
  9. 9. In vocabulary learning, ICT can help a lot. There are online and offline dictionaries of global value and authenticity. Oxford English Dictionary, Webster’s Dictionary, Chamber’s Dictionary etc are available on internet or they can be downloaded for reference.
  10. 10.Grammar teaching through ICT is also quite effective. Mere learning rules is not advisable but grammar can be learnt in practical manner. In this regard Language Laboratory can be of immense help to the students. Audio and Videos with conversation on various topics give students the feel of native English. Students can also learn with the help of apps on their mobile phones.
  11. 11.Streamijng media on demand is available on internet. In day to day instruction, the teachers can use short video clips. Teachers can bookmark or provide links to the clips. Students can access these video clips whenever they want or as often as they want.
  12. 12.ICT can be immensely helpful in case of teaching of literary works is concerned. For example, There are films made on great classics of English and American literature. To watch Shakespeare’s plays in film version is an experience in itself. Poetry recitation by the poets are also available on you-tube. Teachers should encourage the students to draw their own meanings and allow them to discuss their views.
  13. 13.Last but not least, research scholars can make use of ICT tools to carry forward their research. They not only can have access to works done in their field of interest but also use ICT tools in presenting papers during seminars, conferences and discussions.
Three Main Advantages of ICT tools for Education:
  1. a. Through ICT images can easily be used in teaching and imposing the retentive memory of students.
  2. b. Through ICT teachers can easily explain complex instructions and ensure students comprehension.
  3. c. Through ICT, teachers are able to create interactive classes and make the lessons more enjoyable which could improve student’s attention and concentration.
Three Main Disadvantages of ICT tools for Education:
  1. a. Setting up the devices can be very troublesome.
  2. b. Too expensive to afford
  3. c. Hard for teachers to use with a lack of experience using ICT tools.
Conclusion: Thus, we may conclude that ICT is an important tool which has the potential to make the teaching and learning of traditional subjects into a live experience. Another important point, in order to bridge the digital divide, it is very important that ICT tools are integrated into the education system and that these are accessible to all. To sum up, it can be said that ICT is a modern tool that facilitates both teachers and students in teaching learning process. Knowledge is now in explosion. Every moment, millions of topics are posted on internet. Knowledge is just a click away. Sharing is the true focus of learning and it has now become a reality due to ICT.

“Technology will not replace teachers but teachers who understand technology will replace those who do not.”• Dr. Ray Clifford


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Madhvi Acharya, Assistant Professor (English), P. D. Pandya Mahila Commerce College, Ahmedabad