The Great Educational Technology Wall: The benefits and difficulties of using the Internet as part of a foreign language teaching methodology in China





As China continues to modernize at an exceptional rate, issues around integrating educational technology into foreign language teaching methodologies are becoming increasingly pertinent. This paper discusses some of the benefits and difficulties encountered when the Internet is used as a central teaching tool for students studying English as a foreign language in China. The merits of a particular strategy are also discussed. This strategy emphasizes placing a large amount of learning resources online – including lecture notes, contact information, examples of student work, and links to other learning resources on the World-Wide Web. Finally, the Internet is considered for its practicality as a learning tool from both the perspective of the institution (e.g. can schools afford to equip their classrooms with the necessary technology?) and the perspective of the student (e.g. is it feasible to require students to use the Internet as part of their studies?).



Chinese academics have proposed that, since the 1700’s, there have been two stages in the world modernization process: the first stage features developing an industrial economy, and the second is categorized by an information economy [1]. Assisted by China’s recent entry into the World Trade Organization, the import of new technology, and an increasingly open policy towards foreign competition and investment, China is presently on the fast track towards the second level of modernization [1, 2, 3]. The development of the information technology sector has created new possibilities for integrating technology into the classroom, and as such, educational technology is an important consideration for developing new teaching methodologies in Chinese schools...



Copyright © 2007 Adrian Jones