ICT as the springboard for the creation of more opportunities within the zone of proximal development in the pronunciation class
Cardozo, Cristian Andrés
Orta González, María Dolores
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One of the main concerns explored in contemporary research in education has been the ultimate purpose of learning development: whether teachers should aim at transmitting mostly content,or rather at fostering the development of certain abilities or skills. In the case of language acquisition, the debate started in the 1970s, with authors proposing new theories in response to traditional ways of teaching, such as the theory of the "Zone of Proximal Development", ZPD(Vygostky, 1978; Wells, 1999). Over the years, these studies led to new student-need-centred methodologies, as opposed to the conventional syllabus-completion focus (Gardner, 1985;Richards & Rodgers, 1986). In so doing, issues such as motivation, autonomy and scaffolding through peer support have gained ground in societies where new technologies, mostly ICT, play a most important role in education, and where the need to adapt to these changes and advances becomes essential (Rogers, 1969). In this context, educators need to be conscious of the fact that these new technologies can enhance teaching and learning, and that they foster motivation greatly (Sharma & Barret, 2007; Willis, 1998).This presentation will be aimed at shedding light on improvements on some teaching methods and techniques as an attempt to address the needs of constant technological evolution in society. We will focus on the description and analysis of some technology-mediated collaborative tasks designed to motivate and help students improve their pronunciation skills in the context of Vygotsky's ZPD theory, and mostly employed on Social Networks or student's Personal Learning Environments (PLEs). The analysis will be carried out from our perspective as members of the chair of Práctica de la Pronunciación at Facultad de Lenguas, Universidad de Córdoba.
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