At this year’s Educatec-Educatice, a major education event which took place in Paris last week, Econocom ran a series of workshops that showed how digital technology can be used for teaching different subjects in schools.
This gave English teacher Pierre the opportunity to present his new teaching methods. Before an audience of around a dozen curious visitors, he switched on his iPad Mini, which was connected to the students’ tablets and a video-projector, and launched the “Conversation English” app which was then projected onto a giant screen.
“The app was designed and developed for a total immersion experience. Everything is directly in English, so the students can learn independently and at their own pace, and ask the teacher for help if needed.”
Interactivity, creating multimedia objects and immersion in the target language are crucial for language learning. Using tablets and the application help students learn the basics – vocabulary, reading and listening, grammar – more quickly.
With these tools, Pierre has experimented with a number of ambitious multimedia projects with his class, particularly for translation. One such exercise involves the students choosing a song by an English-speaking artist, then listening to it and translating the lyrics as a group. They initially listen to the song together but can listen to it individually as many times as they wish on their tablets. They students then work together – in English, naturally – and produce their assignment at the end of the lesson, while the teacher supervises and assists.
“At the end of the lesson, it’s very exciting,” says Pierre. “The translations are projected onto a big screen using AirPlay. The synergies this technology creates are amazing, it almost always exceeds my expectations – and the students’. The task is completed in record time!”