The use of interactive methods and forms when teaching a second language can be quite beneficial. These methods can provide many advantages when it comes to developing cognitive or creative abilities among students and will also help enhance interactions between students and teachers to offer an effective learning experience.
Interactive teaching can be used at all levels and will help to provide an enjoyable way to master new languages. Learning a new language is a challenge in itself, so with forms and methods that promote interactions with peers and teachers, students will have a better learning experience. Studies have shown that interactive teaching is much more effective and successful. With the use of modern technology, there are endless tools and resources available.
The Benefits of Interactive Teaching
In the past, traditional forms of teaching in a classroom consisted of lectures, note-taking, memorizing, and testing. With the many advances in technology, teachers are now able to take a different approach and use interactive methods for teaching an engaging and enjoyable lesson. For those studying a foreign language, this form of teaching has been very beneficial.
The methods of teaching when taking an interactive approach are different from traditional methods. With interactive teaching, students will benefit from situational training, role-playing, or other activities that will allow them to communicate in a foreign language.
Interactive Methods Without Technology
Today, innovative technology has allowed interactive teaching to soar to great heights, and it is one of the most popular forms of teaching. Even though technology plays a pivotal role in the world of modern education, there are some ways some super ways one can incorporate interactive teaching without having to rely on technology.
- Role-playing – It is perhaps the most effective interactive method that can be used when teaching a foreign language. With this, students will interact with each other speaking the language and will have to conduct full conversations and communicate during the activity. This promotes vocabulary retention, use of accents, verb usage, and other aspects that are heavily involved in becoming a fluent speaker.
- Out of Classroom Activities – While activities that take place in a class setting are very beneficial, a language cannot be mastered in just an hour of classroom time. It is important to encourage the use of a foreign language in outside activities. Teachers can assign students to visit a Chinese restaurant and order in that language. Another way to engage in activities is to visit local areas where locals speak the language being learned. This is quite easy in the US for those learning Spanish since it is spoken in many communities.
Technology Tools for Learning Languages
Technology plays a huge role in an educational experience, and there are many online tools and resources that can help to teach a foreign language. No student can learn a language from a textbook or from single classroom lessons, regardless of how interactive or communicative they are. Technology will come into play at some point during the learning experience, and it can be quite beneficial. Here, we take a look at some of the best tech tools that can be incorporated into lesson plans.
- Audio – By accessing audio files or even watching videos online, you are able to hear languages being spoken. Just listening can be a great way to learn a foreign language, as you will be able to pick up phrases and grammar patterns. By listening to real-life conversations, students can find new ways to use what they already know and test their grasp of the language.
- Foreign Language News Sites – Online news sources that are printed in foreign languages are a great way to promote vocabulary retention and to be able to view written words and phrases. New sites also provide video and audio clips that can be used to master a language while gaining information about other cultures at the same time. One great assignment would be to have a student access a news source and verbally explain the news at the next class while speaking the target language.
- Skype – Skype is a powerful communication tool that can connect people around the world. It can be used for educational purposes, as well. By engaging in Skype conversations with a native speaker from another country, students will have to engage in the language but will have the benefit of interacting with people from other parts of the world.
Each instructor will have a different method of teaching, but when it comes to foreign languages, it is clear that interactive methods are the best approach. While students can learn words and grammar from a textbook, they will not be able to incorporate their learnings into being able to effectively communicate or fluently speak a new language. With great technological tools and classroom exercises, implementing interactive lessons will not only enhance the enjoyment of a class but will lead to better retention and the ability to communicate in written and oral forms.
Annabelle Gratwick is one of the top bloggers on education and has published many online journals and essays. At Edusson, Annabelle continues to contribute publications that are useful for educators looking for the latest trends and ways to incorporate interactive methods into teaching lessons.