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Curriculum*Technology Quarterly
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Winter 2000 | Volume 10 | Number 2
Foreign Languages

New Technologies for the 21st Century Foreign Language Classroom

Janice B. Paulsen

The student's basic, natural motivation for choosing to learn a foreign language has not changed during my half century as a foreign language professional. The beginning student hopes to learn to speak the language and is curious to learn what it is like to be a part of another culture. Unfortunately, all too often many of our students have lost their natural motivation because they were kept on the sidelines, where they had to drill and practice without a chance to play in the authentic communication game.

Today's electronic information and communication technologies have made authentic intercultural contact and communication a reality. If we harness them effectively, these new technologies not only support the teaching and learning of other languages and cultures but also provide tools, strategies, and practices that increase student interest and performance. Today's students know the technology, and teachers know the language. Together they become a dynamic teacher-learner combination. Integrating these new technologies into foreign language instruction enables teachers to tap and build upon the natural motivation of students.


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