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Using E-Learning to Achieve Fluency in Foreign Languages

Using E-Learning to Achieve Fluency in Foreign Languages
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Author(s): Michael Zock (LIF, CNRS, France) and Stergos Afantenos (LINA, Université de Nantes, France)
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 20
Source title: Affective, Interactive and Cognitive Methods for E-Learning Design: Creating an Optimal Education Experience
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Aimilia Tzanavari (University of Nicosia, Cyprus) and Nicolas Tsapatsoulis (Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-940-3.ch010


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Speaking a language and achieving pro?ciency in another one is a highly complex process which requires the acquisition of various kinds of knowledge, declarative and procedural (skills), like the learning of words, rules or patterns and their connection to communicative goals (intentions), the usual starting point. In order to help the learner acquire these skills we propose an electronic version of an age old method: pattern drills (henceforth PDs). While being highly regarded in the ?fties, PDs have become unpopular since then, partially because of their rigidity and lack of contextual and communicative grounding. Despite these shortcomings we do believe in the virtues of this approach, at least with regard to the acquisition of basic linguistic re?exes or skills (automatisms), necessary to produce language at a ’normal’ rate. Of course, the method needs improvement, and we will show here how this can be achieved. Unlike tapes or books, computers are open media, allowing for dynamic changes, taking users’ performances and preferences into account. Our DT, a small web-application still in its prototype phase, allows for this. It is a free, electronic version of PDs, i.e. an exercise generator, open and accomodatable to the users’ ever changing needs.

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