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Globalization and Language Education - How Internet Changes the Way We Teach and Learn Languages?. Dr. Tim Xie Email: [email protected] Virtual office: California State University Long Beach June 2008 . Globalization.

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globalization and language education how internet changes the way we teach and learn languages

Globalization and Language Education- How Internet Changes the Way We Teach and Learn Languages?

Dr. Tim Xie

Email: [email protected]

Virtual office:

California State University

Long Beach

June 2008

  • Globalization – a process by which the people of the world are unified into a single society and functioning together (Chomsky, 2006).
  • This process is a combination of economic, technological, sociocultural and political forces (Sheila L. Croucher, 2004)
need of common language s lingua franca and language localization
Need of common language(s) – lingua franca and language localization
  • English is not only a system communication but the preeminent language of science, technology and medicine.
  • English has become the lingua franca of the 21st century.
  • By 2010 there could be around 2 billion people learning English
china an example
China – an example
  • The globalization caused rapid development of TESL in China. ESL students currently reach 300 million.
  • On the other hand, the rapid economic development in China attracted about 400 thousand overseas students learning Chinese on the mainland (Deng, 2006)
  • Chinese may become a lingua franca in Asia.
language localization
Language localization
  • The process of translating a product into different languages or adapting a language for a specific country or region.
  • Other speakers in 2050 will be: 1.4 billion native speakers of Chinese
    • 556 million of Hindi and Urdu
    • 486 million Spanish
    • 482 million Arabic

(Yang, 2006)

how internet impacts language education
How Internet Impacts Language Education?

World Internet Users (as of December 2007): 1,319,872,109


Growth between 2000-2007 average 265.6%

the fasted growth is in the middle east 920.2%


Singhal (1997) discussed the potential benefits of the Internet and how it can be used in the second or foreign language classroom. She indicates that Internet is not only a new tool of communication, but also a teaching and learning tool.
what is used for language teaching and learning
What is used for language teaching and learning?
  • LeLoup and Ponterio (2001) listed a number of Internet applications that can be used to enrich the foreign language classroom.
  • These applications include: email, mailing list, e-journals, World Wide Web, streaming audio and video, search engines, remote access to libraries and database, chat, audio and video conferencing and messaging, web course management, etc.
categorization of applications
Categorization of applications:
  • Information resources - Web directories, searchable database (general - Eric, Google, Informaworld. Language education specific - Merlot), online textbooks and learning materials (including audio and video – Podcasting, YouTube)
  • Communication – asynchronous email, discussion forum and blog (including voice email like Wimba and YackPack); synchronous instant messengers (MSN, Yahoo) Internet telephony programs (Skype, Voipstunt)
Collaborative learning – Document sharing, editing and publishing (,
  • Learning tools - online dictionary, glossing engine, character animation, text-to-speech, concordancer, etc
  • Virtual classroom and office for online learning and long distance education (Elluminate, WizIq, webex, etc)
what changes are taking place
What changes are taking place?
  • The way of class preparation and presentation changed (including testing) – from pen and paper (textbook, handouts, tests) to keyboard and screen (media) PPT, ePlan, eText, AP Chinese
The way of teaching and learning changed from one way delivery to two way interaction/communication (transnational).
  • Not only between teachers and students (Blogs, discussions, email), but also between the students and native speakers of the target languages or learners elsewhere
  • (Laowai Blog) - a blog by a French
The place of teaching and learning changed – from fixed classrooms and time to anywhere and anytime.
  • Classrooms, labs, online exercises and tests, virtual classroom teaching, virtual office hours and tutoring.
what are the advantages
What are the advantages?
  • Aydin (2001) summarized the research results on advantages of using the Internet in language teaching and learning.
  • Helping learners to gain more input (Kitao, 1998).
  • Increase of synchronous and asynchronous communication (Kern, 1995; Warschauer and Healey, 1998).
Giving the opportunity to construct knowledge together by expressing themselves in print and then assessing, evaluating, comparing, and reflecting on their own views and those of others (Warschauer, 1997).
  • Communication with native speakers allows learners to practice specific skills such as negotiating, persuading, clarifying meaning, requesting information, and engaging in true-life, authentic discussion (Aydin, 2001).
what are the problems
What are the problems?
  • Accessibility and inequity – the internet is not always accessible by all learners and teachers.. 75.6% in Sweden vs 4.5% in Kenya (The Word Bank, 2004)
  • Internet unfamiliarity – some teachers and students are not familiar with the Internet.
Not all topics are suitable for school children. (Aydin, 2001)
  • Information explosion – The increasing amount of information generally makes learners confused while they try to reach specific information (Chafe, 1999).
what will be in the future
What will be in the future?
  • Technological development – unpredictable
  • Normalization – Bax (2003) proposed three stages of CALL: restricted, open and integrated CALL. At the final stage everything in “normalized”.
  • The technology is invisible, hardly even recognized as a technology, taken for granted in everyday life.
CALL will be normalized when computers are treated as always secondary to learning itself, when the needs of learners will be carefully analysed first of all, and then the computer used to serve those needs.” (Bax, 2003)
  • Aydin, Selami. (2001). The Use of the Internet in ESL Learning: Problems, Advantages and Disadvantages. Humanising Language Teaching. Year 9; Issue 1. Retrieved February 3, 2008 from
  • Bax, S. (2003). CALL — past, present and future. System, Vol. 31. pp.13–28.
  • Chafe, Allison. (1999). Effective use of the Internet in Second Language Education: Benefits, Challenges and Guidelines for Teachers. Retrieved February 3, 2008 from
  • Chomsky, Noam. (2006). Chats with Washington Post readers, The Washington Post, March 24. Retrieved March 24, 2008 from
  • Croucher, Sheila L (2004). Globalization and Belonging: The Politics of Identity a Changing World. Rowman & Littlefield.p.10
  • Deng, Shizhong. (2006). TCSL and TESL in China. US-China Education Review, Volume 3, No.8. ISSN1548-6613, USA. Retrieved March 12, 2008 from
Kern, R. (1995). Restructuring classroom interaction with networked computers: Effects on quantity and quality of language production. Modern Language Journal, 79(4), 457-476.
  • Kitao, S. K. (1998). Interaction and on-line synchronous communication in English language learning, CALL-EJ. Retrieved February 3, 2008 from
  • LeLoup, Jean W. and Ponterio, Robert. (2001). Enhancing Authentic Language Learning Experiences through Internet Technology. ERIC Digest 2/6 ED442277. Retrieved February 3, 2008 from
  • Singhal, Meena. (1997). The Internet and Foreign Language Education: Benefits and Challenges. The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. 3, No. 6. Retrieved February 3, 2008 from
  • Warschauer, M. (1997). Computer-Mediated Collaborative Learning: Theory and Practice. Modern Language Journal, 81(3), 470-481.
  • Warschauer, M., & Healey, D. (1998). Computers and language learning: An overview. Language Teaching, 31, 57-71.
  • Yang, Sung Chul . (2006). English Language and Globalization. Talk at new faculty members’ orientation workshop, sponsored by the Korea University’s Center for Teaching & Learning , Sheraton Grand Walker Hill Hotel on February 24, 2006. Retrieved March 5, 2008 from