Well, I guess I am always disobedient to “teachers.”
The book says new technologies like Telecommunication are great for second language learning because students can take extra time to think, compose, and edit his/her message in a relaxed manner, and also there is no risk of losing face. People highly praise; “We are living in the wonderful era!”
RESPONSE by: emi
…As well as other international students, it is a vital of my life for these 10 months ever since I came to the US. I can’t imagine how I could survive without those tools.
…I also admit that Telecommunication is useful for learning. Actually I am interested in teaching online and would like to own a virtual classroom some day. It is one of the most effective ways to teach cultures. Having a conference with classmates in different places is lots of fun. I am sure there would be much more potentials for expansion.
When it comes to L2 learning, however, I don’t really approve it. I understand that there are benefits as M [the auther of the textbook] points out, but I just don’t like the idea of “comfortableness”, which I think can possibly give students an illusion that performance improves in Telecommunication better than in face-to-face communications. I believe it is totally different from the affective filter issues. In my opinion, what is taught in the language classrooms should be challenging, in other words somewhat stressful, in order for students to try to tackle the difficulties, collaborate with peers, take risks, and then when getting out of there -finally- it’s time for them to feel relieved or “comfortable” to meet “real people.” That’s the reason it takes a teacher to facilitate it, isn’t it. Since it’s important for students to keep testing their proficiency, it might be sometimes helpful for them to take the soft option. You might say that it’s a part of learning in a broad sense. But I don’t think it is teacher’s job to encourage them to do so. That is not my understanding of comfortable learning.
Here is an analogy. I think of language teaching as rehabilitation of wounded wild animals – the ultimate goal is to get them back into nature, not to keep them in the cage forever.