Audio / Video / iPod used in Foreign Language learning
Researches have shown that the visual accounts for 93% of our retentive memory. Hence, multimedia learning aids greatly enhance the learning experience of foreign languages as students can hear as well see lectures and language texts. Indeed, the mind assimilates audio and video experiences faster and better. However, all learners do not have unlimited access to the Internet so as to view such online learning tools over and over again. iPod, with its audio and video capabilities, allows teachers and tutors to expand the reach of language curriculum to align classes with the flexible learning styles of today’s students. iPod is a popular handheld device that is extending teaching and learning beyond the normal classroom setting, thus allowing students to learn at their own convenience. An iPod allows students to easily access lectures, create notes, share and communicate knowledge, even while on the move; all of which greatly enhance the overall experience of foreign language learning.
Multimedia learning aids
Modern teaching strategies make extensive use of relevant audio and video content to enhance the overall learning experience and also to supplement writte material. Visual aids equally back up classroom lecturing. Helpful audio and video teaching aids also fulfil the critical need of teaching correct pronunciations. In fact, audio and video-based foreign language learning material are most appropriate for the phonetic aspect of foreign language teaching / learning. Foreign language learning courseware are available in different multimedia formats to suit the learner’s needs. They may contain language learning classes, handy tips, pronunciation repeats and also recordings by native speakers which highlight pointers such as voice tone, pitch, intonation so that the learner may ‘brush up’ his or her oral skills. Downloadable audio and video material for foreign language learning are available over the Internet for learners to download and play over their mobile devices (MP3 / MP4 player, mobile phone, iPod) at their own convenience. Since repetition and word drill are crucial aspects of the foreign language learning experience, audio and video lessons downloaded over mobile multimedia gadgets can be very convenient for the practice in question, and particularly handy to people with a low retentive memory or to adult learners who cannot devote much time to foreign language learning.
Multimedia Teaching Aids
Foreign language educators have already incorporated Podcast into the process of knowledge dissemination. A podcast, for those who are still unaware of it, is an audio or video file which is stored over the Internet, and which can be downloaded to a computer and / or a mobile listening and / or viewing device such as an MP3 / MP4 player, a mobile phone or an iPod. Highly skilled language tutors who are equally proficient in IT skills are actively podcasting online. Classroom lectures are often recorded and uploaded on the Internet, not only for the benefit of students but also for learners not attending any formal foreign language learning classes. Podcasting is even a practical way for language tutors to build their own lecture archives for future reference and use.
Downloadable multimedia components within foreign language learning / teaching provide for students who may not be having unlimited Internet connection. Learners can also sift through recorded content and mix and match various lessons to create their own versions. Not only do multimedia devices act as data libraries but even as entertainment vehicles to make foreign language learning a more pleasant experience. However, generous sharing of academic content may risk infringement of the Intellectual Property Rights.