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Evaluating multimedia programs as a tool for language learning at beginners and post-TEE levels

Bonnie Thomas
The University of Western Australia
At the University of Western Australia (UWA) French is taught to beginners and post-TEE level students with a coordinated program in the multimedia laboratory. These programs are designed to focus particularly on the students' speaking and listening skills with some emphasis on developing reading and grammatical skills. The multimedia component of the language programs has proved notoriously difficult to appeal to students and they generally consider it the least important part of the language learning process. Indeed, it is the first class to be missed when pressure begins to rise as the semester progresses. In both streams the programs have been redesigned at several intervals following comments on Student Perceptions of Teaching (SPOT) surveys and other student feedback in order to better meet student needs. SPOT surveys were conducted on both classes at the end of semester one 2001 as well as interviewing the teachers involved in running these classes.

The results were more positive than expected, but a number of concerns were raised by both students and teachers. The multimedia laboratory in the Faculty of Arts is well-equipped with state of the art technology and other language classes have achieved a high degree of success with their multimedia programs. In this session, the program will be briefly described and the issues raised by the students and teachers will be explored. The discussion will focus on ways to improve the program and to allow students to feel they are making a valuable contribution to their language skills by attending these classes.

Author: Bonnie Thomas, PhD Student, French and History, The University of Western Australia. rbarna@iinet.net.au

Presentation format: Dilemmas in teaching or teaching/learning research

Please cite as: Thomas, B. (2002). Evaluating multimedia programs as a tool for language learning at beginners and post-TEE levels. In Focusing on the Student. Proceedings of the 11th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 5-6 February 2002. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2002/abstracts/thomas-abs.html


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