By Marie-Madeleine Kenning

ISBN-10: 0230517072

ISBN-13: 9780230517073

Supplying a unique point of view, this booklet explores the interaction of ICT and language studying in the context of technological and social switch, from the printing press to the cellular phone. It considers how technological advances, via their impression on verbal exchange, language and schooling, impact not just how languages are learnt, but in addition what sort of language is learnt. The method highlights either the multifaceted and intricate nature of language learn and its evolutionary dimension.

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The media enable people to hear without being within earshot, and to see beyond their field of vision. They emancipate human beings from what with hindsight appears as constraints, but was probably unquestioned at the time, and accepted as part of the ordinary framing of everyday life. One of the main differences between face-to-face and mediated communication is that whereas the former takes place in a shared spatial and temporal context, the media allow the context of production and the context of reception to be separated.

But it has also been welcome as a development liable to redress what is regarded as an unfortunate bias towards the written language with a dampening effect on some human potentials (Kress, 1998: 75). What is incontestable is that the rise of pictorial representations is challenging the pre-eminent position of language and altering the relationship between language and pictures. As such, it is a development that is bound to affect language learning. The influence of technological conditions on the ups and downs of individual channels and modes can be seen in the education world, where the work now produced by students is visually far superior to the assignments handed in by their predecessors.

It is not the case that they offer an open range of possibilities for action. Rather, they possess a set of affordances, that is to say they have an inherent potential, that allows, or even encourages, certain types of action and at the same time sets limits on what can be done (Hutchby, 2001: 26–33). Notwithstanding this inherent bias, it is possible for the potential of innovations to remain unexploited. On the other hand, as demonstrated by the use of the short message service (SMS), ingenuity may successfully circumvent the shortcomings of an artefact.

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ICT and Language Learning: From Print to the Mobile Phone by Marie-Madeleine Kenning

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