Ready to Tell: Building a Virtual Community for “Technology Enhanced Language Learning”

May 09, 2021

Ready To Tell is a new project initiated by the School of Languages at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. It will mainly be presented as a new semi-annual or annual e-magazine to collect ready-to-go class activities for “technology enhanced language learning”.

As introduced by Kun Li, a language lecturer from the School of Languages, this e-magazine mainly aims at providing a platform for all language teachers worldwide to share their technology-based teaching and learning practices, and to build a virtual community for teachers to discuss the best ways to utilise technology to facilitate language learning for tech-savvy students. The first e-magazine (Volume 1) is expected to be released in the coming October.

"The position of ‘Ready to Tell’ e-magazine is a practice-oriented guide for how to integrate technology in teaching instead of providing only theoretical explanations. Our goal is to make activities introduced in our e-magazine more detailed and practical which can be applied directly in class.” Kun says.

According to the project announcement, the authors need to display the technology-based activity’s aims, set-ups, materials, detailed procedures, caveats and alternatives. Kun strengthens the importance of caveats and alternatives which can make activities more practical:

“In the part of caveats, authors will explain how this activity can be adapted to different conditions such as students’ levels and classroom equipment. They will also list some alternative plans that can be used when some sudden technological problems happen during the proceedings of these activities to remove language lecturers’ concerns about the application.”

“We hope this can, for one thing, save language lecturers’ time and efforts for pre-class preparations; for another, enable them to personalise these activities for better accommodating different target students.”
Kun, as a member of the School of Languages IT team, also noted the significance of conducting technology-based activities in language teaching:

“Applying technology in a language class, of course, will make the teaching more interesting and interactive; also, it can help lecturers receive clear and instant feedback from students via technical support tools. Technology-based activities enable lecturers to make instant adjustments to achieve better teaching outcomes.”

“Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, more and more lecturers realised technology’s power during teaching, especially online teaching. So I think having this kind of practical collection of ready-to-go activities is meaningful for language lecturers.”

This project is firstly suggested by Angela Xia, the director of XJTLU’s English Language Centre. She introduced the background and purpose of initiating this project:

“Technology-enhanced teaching is a priority in our school’s strategy, which has been rapidly developed in recent years. With more and more creative technology being applied in our classes, I think it’s the right time for us to have a collection in the format of an e-magazine so that we can have a platform for better storing, disseminating and sharing our best practices, and meanwhile, attract excellent cases from worldwide to achieve mutual progress.”

“We hope that this e-magazine can help us collect more cases of applying educational technology in teaching systematically. We would also like to see some lecturers’ anxiety of applying technology in class relieved, and more creative teaching ideas inspired by our e-magazine.”

By Xinyi Liu

Edited by Shuhan Li

May 09, 2021