5. The use of ICT for motivating students to learn English - The use of ICT for motivating students to learn English

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5.

The use of ICT for motivating students to learn English

Siti Aisyiyah, S.Pd., M.Pd.

Department of Language, Communication and Tourism, Politeknik Negeri Jember, Indonesia

Abstract

The development of ICT has given positive effects on English Language Teaching. It is broadly known that the use of ICT on language learning can

increase students’ motivation to learn, give fast access and varieties of learning

resources, as well as facilitate exposure to authentic materials. One of ICT tools that can be used to support English language teaching is internet. This article aims to describe and analyze the use of the internet as learning resources for motivating students to English. First, this article describes the use of the internet in English language teaching particularly for students majoring in Informatics Management of Politeknik Negeri Jember. It needs to be discussed as the teacher only used a workbook as learning media previously. Second, the article provides how the selected learning resources could be used in English language teaching.

Next, the article addresses how the students’ acquisition was assessed based on

process and performance based- assessment. Moreover, the teaching learning process could encourage them to learn English. Based on data collected from simple questionnaires consisting of some open questions, most students said that they consider the teaching learning process was better and more interesting than before. This study gives implication about the urgency of the use of internet to motivate students to learn English. Undoubtedly, motivation brings significant

effect to the students’ success in learning. Thus, this article gives a fascinating

insight into how learning resources could be used to motivate students in learning English.

Keywords: Internet, Motivation, Learning English

Introduction

The development of ICT has given positive effects on English Language Teaching. It is broadly known that the use of ICT on language learning can increase students’ motivation to learn, give varieties of learning resources, provide easy and fast access to authentic materials, as well as facilitate a learner-centred approach that leads to the development of learner autonomy. One of the most popular ICT tools used in ELT is the internet. The Internet provides an easy and fast access to the use of current and authentic materials in the language being studied, which is motivating for the language learner (Kumar & Tammelin, 2008). The authentic materials can be provided on, for example, web pages, online newspapers, blogs, newsroom video clips or video sharing websites such as YouTube.

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most students of Politeknik Negeri Jember, particularly non-English department students. Most students of Politeknik Negeri Jember, taken randomly from non-English departments, got low score on TOEFL preparation test. Moreover, they are not skilful in communicating using English.

The difficulties in learning English can be solved by using media. Besides, the use of media can increase students’ motivation. Motivation, according to Woolfolk (2004), refers to an internal state that arouses, directs, and maintains behaviour. In general, motivation can be classified into intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. Intrinsic motivation is associated with activities which are students’ own reward, while extrinsic motivation is created by external factors. Motivation plays an important role to the students’ success in learning English. Accordingly, ateacher must be able to evoke and maintain students’ motivation to learn English.

One of important factors to motivate students in learning English is by creating a rich learning environment. It can be created by providing appropriate learning resources and media for students, such as using ICT tools in English language teaching. Mullamaa (2010) states that ICT supports the modern principles of learning and language acquisition. Individualization, interaction and student motivation, often considered paramount in modern education theories, are necessarily a part of the process in ICT. As Theobald (2006) in Mullama (2010) points out, some students need extrinsic tools to increase their motivation.

For students of Informatics Management department, learning English using ICT will be an enjoyable experience because they deal much with the ICT in their field of study. Moreover, English skill is badly needed by those students. Their field of study is related to information technology which mostly uses English as an international language. Without having enough skill in English, they will be left behind and unable to survive in the future. Accordingly, to increase and maintain learning motivation of students majoring in Informatics Management of Politeknik Negeri Jember, the teacher used the Internet, through Google search, as a learning resource in teaching learning process of English.

This article aims to provide reflective accounts of the use of the Internet as a learning resource and Power Point media to motivate students majoring in informatics management at one of the Indonesian colleges to learn English. First, this article

addresses the use the Internet - in English language teaching and learning. Alongside

this, the article provides justifications for using such tools. Second, the article provides how the selected ICT tool could be used in English language teaching. Last, the article addresses how the students’ performance was assessed based on process and performance based assessments.

The use of the ICT-based tools in English language teaching

There are varieties of ICT tools that can be used in English language teaching. The use of ICT in the classroom gives some benefits as stated in Becta (2004) below:

• Learning environments can be extended beyond the physical constraints of the classroom.

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• Learners can showcase and share their work which has positive motivational effects and raises self-esteem.

• Resources and activities can be created quickly and easily.

• Current information relating to linguistic and cultural diversity can be made accessible to all.

• Leaner independence and group study is enabled.

• Learners have immediate access to content rich sources of materials that draw on the previous learning and experiences of students.

Teaching English as a foreign language for the first grade students majoring in Informatics Management of Politeknik Negeri Jember used the internet for searching learning resources and power point as presentation media. The selection of those ICT tools based on consideration that they have been very familiar for students, and most students have been capable to use the tools.

The Internet

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The teaching learning process of English for Informatics Management students used Google search to explore learning resources. As a warming up, the teacher gave a reading text that will be learnt. Surely, the topic was related to students’ field of study, for example, about New Technologies. Apperception was done by discussing some commonly used new technologies that were familiar with the students. The activity was continued by reading a text about New Technologies and answering some questions based on the text. Afterwards, the students were divided into some groups consisting of 3–4 students. It was due to the number of students in the class was quite large, around 35 students. Each group had to explore an article about another new technology used in learning English by surfing the internet through Google search. It was not allowed for each group to download the same topic.

So far, the activities ran well. Most students were active in doing learning tasks because the activities and topic had close relationship to their field of study.

The next activity was a take-home assignment; that is, the groups made a summary of the article in a Word document and prepared a power point presentation of their summary. The students wrote the summary under teacher’s guidance outside the classroom activities. They could consult their work through face to face meeting after appointment or by email.

The use of the Internet as learning resources gives some advantages for the students. First, students can get fast and easy access to learning resources. Using Google search, the students can get a large amount of desired information in minutes. Second, there are varieties of learning resources could be accessed provided in the PowerPoint for 15 minutes presentations in front of the class. Mullama (2010) says that something as basic as power-point presentations has proved to be most popular with students. Presented in the classroom, the power-point presentations remain up on the net, and offer students the possibility of revisiting the presentations they liked the most, checking up the new vocabulary items presented in the power-point reports, and revising new knowledge on topics interesting for them.

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presentation of their work; foreign students valued the grammar, spell checking and dictionary functionality.

Having presentation in the class, the groups of students got some inputs from both the teacher and other students as peer assessment. The inputs deal with contents or materials, manner or the way in giving presentation, and the media that they created. In general, the activities ran well, students were enthusiastic in participating in those learning tasks.

The use of PowerPoint as presentation media gives some benefits to the teaching learning process. First, the PowerPoint media has been very familiar for the students. Almost all students have mastered how to make and operate the media, so preparing PowerPoint presentations is not a difficult thing for the students. Second, using PowerPoint media can support an effective and interesting presentation, because the information on the slides can be written briefly, systematically and clearly. Next, conductingpresentation in front of the class can increase students’ self confidence and train their ability in presenting their idea.

However, there were some weaknesses in conducting such activities. First, because the students worked in groups, only some students who could speak English fluently were active in the activity, while the others tended to be passive. Second, instead of selecting important points to display on their slides, there were still some groups who copied and pasted full texts on the power point slides. Besides, a few students could not have good presentations because they merely read the text without developing their explanation.

Assessment

Students’ learning activities were assessed based on the process of learning and their performance in presentation. The process-based assessment was done by assessing students’ activities in exploring information in the Internet, selecting related articles, summarizing the article under teacher’s guidance, and preparing PowerPoint presentation. After having consulted to the teacher, the students had to revise their work, before submitted it at the end of the learning process. Additionally, the performance-based assessment was done by assessing the result of students’ works in the form of word document summary, PowerPoint slides, and presentation activities.

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Conclusion

ICT-based tools like the Internet and PowerPoint media can be used to motivate students in learning English. The use of the Internet as learning resources and PowerPoint as presentation media can enrich learning environment. The rich learning environment can be used to increase and maintain the students’ intrinsic motivation. Without supported by a good extrinsic condition, the students’ motivation might be decreased.

The use of the Internet as learning resources gives some advantages for the students. First, students can get fast and easy access to learning resources. Using Google search, the students can get a large amount of desired information in minutes. Second, there are varieties of learning resources could be accessed provided in the Internet. The students can select the appropriate resources as they want. Next, the Internet provides a number of authentic materials that can be learnt. It makes the students can learn the materials that are related to their field of study and meet their language proficiency.

The use of PowerPoint as presentation media gives some benefits to the teaching learning process. First, the PowerPoint media has been very familiar for the students. Almost all students have mastered how to make and operate the media, so preparing PowerPoint presentations is not a difficult thing for the students. Second, using PowerPoint media can support an effective and interesting presentation, because the information on the slides can be written briefly, systematically and clearly. Next, conducting presentation in front of the class can increase students’ self confidence and train their ability in presenting their idea.

Moreover, the teaching learning process using ICT could encourage them to learn English. Based on data collected from simple questionnaires consisting of some open questions, most students said that they consider the teaching learning process was better and more interesting than before.

Apart from those advantages, the activities done in groups can be used to promote students’ skills in having cooperation and collaboration with their learning peers. Besides, they have to be able to do peer assessment. After having presented their work, the students were assessed by their peers besides the teacher. Moreover, the use of portfolios in assessment can develop students’ reflective ability. By doing learning reflection, the students can know how to learn. The abilities are very essential to promote students’ learning autonomy.

To sum up, the ICT-based tools as learning resources and media in language teaching can be used to motivate students’ to learn, to promote students’ learning autonomy that, further, can lead to long life learning of the students.

References

BECTA (2004) ”Using ICT to Support Students who Have English as an Additional Language. General guide for Managers and all Teachers”. Version 1.0. June 2004.

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Conole, G. (2008) Listening to the learner voice: The ever changing landscape of technology use for language students. ReCALL, 20(2), pp. 124–140. http://oro.open.ac.uk/12149/1/s0958344008000220a.pdf

Kumar, S. & Tammelin, M. (2008) Integrating ICT into Language Learning and Teaching: Guide for Institutions. Altenberger Straße 69, 4040 Linz: Johannes Kepler Universität Linz.

Lynch, B. & Shaw, P. (2005) Portfolios, Power, and Ethics. TESOL QUARTERLY Vol. 39, No. 2, June 2005

Mullamaa, Kristina. 2010. ICT in Language Learning - Benefits and Methodological Implications.International EducationStudies. Vol.3 No.1 February 2010. O'Reilly, T. (2005) What Is Web 2.0 : Design Patterns and Business Models for the

Next Generation of Software.

Taylor, L. (2006) “The changing landscape of English: Implications for language assessment”. ELT Journal (January 2006) Vol.60 (1): 51-60. http://eltj.oxfordjournals.org/content/60/1/51.short

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