Using Multimedia in TEFL
Multimedia is a useful educational tool for teachers and students. the use of computers and IT aids can enable distance study, flexible assessment, interactive teaching and learning and can also give students more responsibility for their own learning.
A multi-sensory approach
Students all learn differently and all use different senses to help with their learning. Multimedia means multi-sensory.
Computers and media material can engage with all of the learner’s senses to incorporate the visual with sound and touch. This can help to teach students who have different learning styles and needs.
All kinds of EFL lessons can benefit from multimedia. It is possible to use TV, radio, video and the internet for listening practice, while social media is another important area where students can interact with other learners in order to improve their language skills.
Multimedia for needs analysis
Multimedia is useful for constructing and performing a needs analysis on a large group. Students can easily answer questions and results can be collected and put together in a database in order to analyse the most common needs.
Multimedia for examinations
For marking students’ test papers, computers can help transport students’ papers to central locations for marking. Multimedia can be used for automatic dictionaries, spell checkers and text analysis programs.
Exams can be taken at remote locations or even at a student’s home and can be sat at flexible times while being marked in a set location or by a computer program.
Multimedia for student led learning
Another important aspect of multimedia-based learning is that students can have more responsibility for their own learning. It can be interactive, in that the student to an extent lead their own lesson.
This is particularly useful for student motivation, because if a student has more responsibility for his or her own learning, then that student may feel more inclined to learn.
The very act of using technology can also feel more exciting to a student, whatever the age group, providing connection to the modern, high-tech world.
Students who are shy or unwilling to enter into classroom discussion may find computers useful for their anonymous, interactive qualities.
Also, programs can be studied over a longer period of time, rewinding and pausing the lesson as the student wishes – something impossible with a live human teacher!
Multimedia can be incorporated into English language lessons usefully as a positive educational tool for both teacher and student, whatever the learner’s age or ability level.
How do you use multimedia in the classroom?
Should multimedia be used for exams?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments box.