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By investigating the use of technology in the beginning to advanced Japanese language learners who are taking Japanese courses at the adult language school in Hong Kong, I will illustrate difficulties of using technology that some learners felt and ways to overcome the problems of digital device in the language classroom through action research.
Action Research (Sano, 2000; Yokomizo, 2000)
It is a process in which the investigators examine their own educational practice systematically and carefully using the techniques of research.
It is a reflective practice that teachers improve their skills, techniques, and strategies in order to do things better for learners.
Using technology can surely help learners use the target language, but if they have negative feeling of using it, it would be difficult for them to practice.
Interview with learners to see learners’ attitudes
Many learners… actually using technologies for learning Japanese (e.g. watching Japanese dramas & movies from the internet, chatting with their Japanese friends on facebook, using Japanese website for practice Japanese grammar with online games)
Some of learners…
Little knowledge of using technology
Little time to spend with technology because of their busy work load at their compnay
Suggestions for using technology in the language classroom
When the learners’ Japanese ability is low, ask learners to try the basic use of technology. (e.g. writing a short message on twitter, just reading classmates’ postings on the blog)
When learners become more proficient in Japanese, ask learners to try more advanced use of technology (e.g. trying Japanese blog system in Japanese, visiting authentic websites/software for native speakers of Japanese)
If students have little knowledge in using technology, ask learners to try the basic use of technology.
To let students try the technology first and teachers need to give supports all the time.
By giving a lot of supports, learners may be able to follow the innovative use of technology.