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On Advantages Of Multimedia in English Teaching Reform(论多媒体在英语课改中的优点)
作者:李正国    文章来源:本站原创    点击数:    更新时间:2010-11-2             ★★★   【字体:

Summary: This article deals with the importance of multimedia and some advantages using it in English teaching reform in a middle school, probing the ways to interest students to learn English and creating a context in English studying to make students learn actively, widen their outlook and raise the English teaching and learning efficiency in class. At the end of the article, it is also mentioned that all English teachers should follow the fast-developing society, using multimedia system in English teaching reform.

Key words: advantages; multimedia; teaching reform; context.

In our modern society, modernized people of ability are needed and the training of modernized people needs modernized education. In our traditional English teaching ways, teachers tell the students about the facts of the English knowledge in a textbook while students listen to teachers attentively, sitting still and quietly in a class and watching what teachers write on a blackboard. So after a class, students get little from what teachers said. We can imagine how bad the results of English teaching in such a way is!

Now with the development of science and technology, we can use, in English teaching reform, multimedia system, which can interest students to learn English and create a context in English studying and can make students learn actively, widen students’ outlook in class and raise teaching and learning efficiency. The following are some advantages of multimedia in English teaching, especially in teaching reform.

Advantage of multimedia to interest students to learn English

Some great man said, “Interest is the best teacher.” And some Chinese great man, Mencius,  said: “Men must be decided on what they will do, and then they are able to act with vigor in what they ought to do.” These tell us the importance of students’ active learning. Interest, the greatest attraction in students’ learning, is the main composition in a person’s studying intention. Interest not only makes students pay attention to what is going to be learnt in class but also makes them learn actively. When multimedia is used in English teaching, especially in English teaching reform, students turn from the state that they are made to learn to the state that they want to learn because students’ learning interest has been greatly stimulated by the uses of multimedia which can combine modernized teaching ways with the traditional one. The traditional ways, usually writing on the blackboard by a teacher, using chalk, and speaking aloud to students, can be turned into pictures of using projection machines and computers, making the dull white chalk-handwriting of

a teacher on the blackboard into a vivid, colorful and beautiful cartoons and pictures, which can

make students’ brain stimulated efficiently and make them learn actively. The dull sentence patterns, grammatical rules, and so on, can be combined with beautiful, interesting and vivid pictures and cartoons with sweet music to be shown on the screen, which make students interested. The texts can be made into dialogues, short plays and films or other interesting forms of teaching materials to show on the screen. By this means, students’ learning interest is greatly provoked. All the students, including some not doing well in their English study, can now do well in their studying with the uses of the multimedia in the English teaching reform so the good teaching results can be achieved. The following is what can be done in an English class.

Once, after a picnic, during which a video tape had been made, in the English oral class, the video tape was played twice and then, in the second time, students were asked to retell about the picnic in oral, in their own words, to the scene of the tape. Some were asked to retell the whole period of the picnic, some about himself or herself and some only some sentences or words related to the picnic. In the whole procedure of the class, even the students not doing well in English before could tell, to the tape, some words such as “dumplings”, “rice”, “bread”, “cabbages”, “tomatoes”, “potatoes”, “chicken”, “fish”, ……which they had eaten in the picnic. Of course other students could say many more difficult sentences such as “I was climbing the high mountain with our teacher. Our teacher is stronger than us. Look! He climbs so fast.” “The weather that day was fine but the leaves of big trees gave us a lot of shades so we didn’t burn.” “We had a wonderful time that day. We hope that we can have another picnic in the near future.” “I was cooking tomatoes at that time and the girl was helping me.” ……In this way, the students were all doing well in the class because they were much interested in looking at the pictures of themselves in the tape and this provoked them greatly. The result is that they got the interest of learning and of  communicating with each other in English. Their interest of learning English has greatly been provoked.

(B) Advantage of multimedia to create a good context

Learning English must have a good English speaking context. For most of us, the context can’t easily be got. So when teaching reform is done, the context must be created in order to let students get a good speaking and listening condition, namely context, stimulate students’ communicating intention and have the chance to apply the language, using the most proper expressions in order to make students “use the most proper words and expressions in the most proper place”. With multimedia system, this can easily be done.

Taking modernized teaching media as the main part, multimedia system, which combined traditional teaching ways with modern teaching media, can produce a wholly excellent multimedia effect, the creation of a language context, and will have a good teaching effect in English teaching reform. With the traditional teaching ways, the words “nose”, “eye”, “mouth”, “ear”, “head”, “leg”, “arm”,  “hand”, “foot”, ……can easily be taught by pointing to the parts of our body. And so can the phrases “in front of ”, “at the back of”, “on the left”, “on the right”, ……. Of course we can do the above in a multimedia system. But we must use the modernized teaching ways to teach abstractions, unreached or untouched things, for example, various kinds of weather. All kinds of weather, such as sunny, raining, icy, snowing, which the students living in south seldom have chances to see, ……can be shown on the screen to let students see that kind of weather and learn the above words and the like, as well as the following sentences: “What’s the weather like?” “It’s sunny/ snowing/ windy/ rainy/ dry/ wet/ cold/ hot/……”. Of course the terrible scene of a hurricane at sea can be shown on the screen, too. Or how can students know about the hurricane and its terror? This is one of the greatest advantages of multimedia while the traditional teaching ways can’t do that. In the way we can widen students’ outlook a lot that they can’t see in the real everyday life!

(C) Advantage of multimedia to let students learn actively

There are no two students exactly the same in our every school as there are no two leaves that are exactly the same in the world. Everyone is the unique in the world because every student comes of different families and graduates from different primary schools, getting different schooling. They had and have different studying conditions and environment so that they learn differently. In the English teaching, because of their different understanding and memory, they act differently to a teacher. Teachers should let students learn actively and their teaching should suit different students in order to ensure the teaching efficiency. This is known to us as “Teaching students according to their aptitude” or “Suiting the instruction to the students’ level”. Students should learn and should be trained to learn actively. Multimedia can do this easily.

The uses of multimedia in English teaching reform can make the teaching lively, interesting and concrete. The uses of interchangeability of language labs and computer system can teach every student according to his or her aptitude and train his or her individuality. For example, in the lesson the text “John’s Day” is taught, the questions learning to speak about one’s everyday life in English can be raised to the students first. After the text is shown for once to the students, using a video cassette, students are asked to teach themselves the content of the text “John’s Day”, using the installation of a language lab. In this period, excellent students can teach all by themselves about the text, practicing listening ability and oral work while middle-level students can listen to the tape of the text in some limited period of time and prepare for the task of the retelling the text and answering teacher’s questions. The rest, whom namely we call the poorest students in English, can use the key “Call” in the system, asking the teacher for help if he or she has any questions he or she doesn’t know, using more time than others. In this way others don’t know what they have done, the poorest students in English don’t feel any sense of inferiority because he or she does worse than others do. During the whole procedure, the teacher can see all that students do by the conversational monitor system and give every student useful instruction, using conversational system, according to what he or she does in the class. In this lesson, it has been done that all students teach themselves according to his or her aptitude and that each student learns actively. By this means the teaching in the lesson got excellent result as all students’ listening ability and oral work is trained a lot, improving all students’ skills to use the English language.

When a computer is used to do some speaking and listening training to students, the pictures of cartoons of a story can be made, using various kinds of scenes in the story. The edges of the pictures can show the phrases related to the scenes. During the procedure of teaching, students, to  the process of the pictures in the story, narrate the whole story, making the use of the phrases on the edges of the pictures. After some practice, the phrases on the edges of the pictures are deleted,

using the key “Delete”, and students narrate the whole story once more without any prompt. Students can also hear his or her own narrating words in the computer in order to correct the wrong pronunciations. After this practice is repeated several times, the students’ speaking and listening ability has greatly been improved and the teaching efficiency has greatly been raised.

(D) Advantage of multimedia to enlarge the teaching capacity in class

In the class of traditional teaching ways, the capacity in a class is poorly limited. When using multimedia, the capacity in a class is greatly enlarged so the efficiency can be raised.

For example, when learning the names of an Englishman or Englishwoman, the multimedia can be used to let students know the differences between a name of an English and of a Chinese. The projection machine is used to show on the screen an English name “Jim Allen Green” or “Jim Green” and a Chinese name “Zhou Jian”. The following can be shown on the screen:

An English name:        Jim                    Allen                  Green  

Note:      first name/given name     middle name/given name    family name/surname

Or:                Jim                    Green

Note:      first name/given name        family name/surname

A Chinese name:        Zhou                   Jian

Note:       family name/surname         given name

Seeing this, students can easily tell from the differences between a name of an English and of a Chinese. The above can be replaced by other English name, such as “John White”, “Mary Gray”, “Allen Baker”, ……, and other Chinese names “Li Lei”, “Han Meimei”, “Zhang Hua”, “Ouyang Feng”, …… After that the following sentences in the text are shown on the screen: “English people put their family names after given names, but Chinese people put their family names before given names. Remember to use Mr., Miss, Mrs. or Ms with the family name, not the given name. ” In the short-form names of learning that follow, the above way can be used: “Jim-James”, “Bob-Robert”, “Kate-Catherine”, “Lin-Linda”, …… This saves the teaching hours, without writing on the blackboard, and speeds up the procedure of teaching, enlarging the capacity of a class.

From the above we can see that when used in English teaching reform, multimedia can interest students to learn, create a necessary context in English studying and make students learn actively. It can widen students outlook, enlarge the capacity in a class and raise the teaching efficiency. It trains the ability of mastering and using a second language and that of a student’s creativity in abstract thinking according to his or her individuality. But multimedia will always be multimedia. When a material object can be used at hand, multimedia system needn’t be used. For example, when the words of the parts of our body are taught, multimedia may not be needed. Otherwise it does not only waste time because of making a teaching software but also shows dullness in a class.

With the uses of multimedia system in English teaching, all the teachers, especially those using traditional teaching ways and with the skill shortage of using modern equipment, should learn to master the control of modernized multimedia to have a good command of it in order to train more and more modernized people of ability to fit our fast-developing modern society.

                                                                 (The End)

附:本文获得全国教育科学“十五”规划重点课题国家级课题——广东省《创新教学与创造力培养研究与实验》课题优秀论文二等奖。

 

 

                             
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