Website as Medium for Foreign Language Learning

By the advancement of Internet and technology, foreign language learning is possible to be done in distance. Abundant research studies have been conducted and it is concluded that website has potential to be used as learning medium. Nevertheless, there are some crucial points that should be considered before its application.

Internet and technology are gifts for both learners and language instructors that they make simple the complex things. It is documented in a book entitled “The Handbook of Technology and Second Language Teaching and Learning” by Chapelle and Sauro (2017) that technology is possible to be applied as medium in teaching language skills and language aspects including listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary, and grammar, even intercultural competence and interlanguage pragmatics.

For teaching and learning purposes, teacher or lecturer acts as ‘a man behind the gun’. How technology benefits to students depends on how it is applied by the teacher or lecturer. Therefore, before employing website as medium for language learning, conducting needs analysis and environment analysis as parts of instructional design is crucial to make certain that website as a medium for foreign language learning works as expected. The results can be beneficial for teacher or lecturer in designing what to include and what is not.

There are some scientifically proven ways in examining the website as a learning medium. It might be through experimental research, design and development research, research and development, etc. Concluded from many research studies published between the last decade, technology has provided revolutionary access to education (Bermúdez & Hirumi, 2000). Website as the most popular communication tool nowadays (Gözde Girgin, 2011) has successfully been applied for language learning purposes such as in teaching Runyakitara (Katushemererwe & Nerbonne, 2015), Arabic (Cushion & Hemard, 2002), Chinese (Jiang & Ramsay, 2005) and spoken Mandarin (Leung, 2007), Spanish (Pardo-Ballester, 2010). Among many popular languages taught through web, English becomes the most popular.