Integrating technology into the language classroom: Using Google Street View for L2 English teaching and learning (Vivian Lee, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, South Korea)
Vivian Lee, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, South Korea
Title: Integrating technology into the language classroom: Using Google Street View for L2 English teaching and learning
Keywords: pedagogy; technology; L2 English; undergraduate; South Korea
This paper looks at the application of a pedagogical approach which incorporates the use of Google Maps and Street View in the L2 English classroom. Recent years have seen an increase in attention to multimodality, and according to Stein (2000), an array of resources including language and other modes such as gesture, sound, images, textures, and silences should be used when making meaning. A social semiotic approach (Kress & Van Leeuwen, 2006) attempts to describe and understand how people produce and communicate meaning in specific social settings. Focus is made on all semiotics, including language and other modes, contribute to meaning-making. Signs are never arbitrary, and there is a motivation on the part of the sign maker and the context in which the sign is produced. As such, multimodality can play an important part in developing L2 learners’ awareness and sensitivity to language and meaning, for increased effective communication.
Undergraduate L2 learners of English in South Korea were assigned a presentation project which utilized Google Maps and Street View. The students were asked to ‘explore’ self-chosen areas in any part of the world, with the aim of answering some questions assigned for the project.
Findings point out the usefulness of the pedagogical approach in the L2 classroom. Results indicate L2 learners’ heightened awareness to both linguistic and multimodal aspects developed through the project.
The details of the class instructions, project and overall design will be outlined in the presentation, as will excerpts from the data. While the current study was based in a South Korean undergraduate classroom, the pedagogical method can be easily applied across different contexts and adapted to suit various classrooms and needs.