The effect of technology on English Language

Introduction

Technology has been pushing English language to great evolution. The innovation in technology with regard to the development of English language can be traced with the innovation of the printing press which developed standards methods of spelling English words. There came new ways of punctuation in an effort to make the printed texts easier to read, and assist people from different region reach a consensus with regard to English grammar. Other notable technological advancements that have affected the English language include the invention of telegraph, radio, and television. The English language grew to come up with words to describe these new technologies, and the advances in the speech as it were being used by the broadcasters. The most influential technological advancement of English has been the internet. In less than two decades, the internet has created a paradigm shift in the English language. This paper will be developed to evaluate the effect of technology on English language with more emphasize on writing.

It is worth noting that almost everyone has an access to a technological device. Sending of text message has become a common trend in the current world. Only 12% of the mobile users were found to never have used their phone of which most of them were over 65 years old. 70% of most youths note that their lives are integrated with mobile phones which influences the way of life (Parry, 2010). In terms of writing, the evolution of blogs has given writers a platform for airing the works of literature.

Historic perspective

Technology and English has always had a connection with each other. During the previous century, the learning of English language in most education center was comprised of English Language learning labs. These language laboratories were comprised of some cabinets with a cassette deck, a microphone and a headphone. The teachers would use a central control panel to monitor the operation and progress of the students. The use of this technology was helpful to the students learning English as a language. The students’ skills were enhanced through practical drill problems (Chris, 2010).

Skills in English Language

To understand the effect of technology to the English language there is need to understand language skills. English skills are made up of main elements including speaking, listening, reading, and writing. There are different technical skills suited for each different section. The use of these technical skills has different effects in the learning process of each area of the language (Chris, 2010). The English language skills can be divided into input and output skills. The input skills are comprised of listening and reading. The output skills include speaking and writing.

Effects of technology on writing skills

The writing skills in the English language may be difficult and cumbersome due to engaging task such as generating ideas, organization, and achieve a perfect use of grammar and vocabulary. The following are ways in which technology interacts with writing skills in the English language. The use of computers is applicable to develop the writing skills among many English language learners especially those learning it as a foreign language. Having to write statement and create paragraphs in a new language provides a challenge for many writers. Technology comes to aid these students through the use of graphics-based programs that make it easy for the writing task to be carried out in an enjoyable and easier manner. The use of computers in writing helps improve grammatical skills through the use of word processing programs. The learner is equipped with the capability of highlighting a specific area of the text through techniques such as underlining, bolding, use of italics or changing the font and size. These programs facilitate the automatic checking of spelling of grammar. In this sense, the computers useful tool for studying grammar and engage the student in a creative way that goes beyond traditional writing using a paper and pencil (Nomass, 2013).

Writing skills is a complex task that incorporates various skills some of which the students may lack or possess some partially. The ability to write independently of the available technological methods is essential but a challenge in this world full of technological tools that make writing quicker and easier; the writing skills that are relevant for the students are writing mechanics, writing strategies and logical and clear writing. Students need to demonstrate their prowess in writing before they can be accepted for college or even in their career. With this perspective, they are required to take tests such as common core exams, regent examinations, and SAT test which are all hand-written and thereby offers the students no chance to utilize technology. The students are required to write essays and constructed responses as a way of proving their writing skills. For this reason, the student used to be reliant on the technological tools will find it hard to cope with the manual way of writing (Bronowicki, 2014).

Writing emails has created a shift in the writing paradigm. Emails represent a new way of writing and transmitting messages via the internet. It offers an effective way of improving the writing skills. Learners can use emails to learn to engage in a conversation through responding to the incoming messages in a formal tone and use of meaningful language. Another form of writing that has come with the development in technology is the use internet text-chatting. This offers a technical window that can be useful in the development of writing ability. This is an online and fast tool for writing that can be used to write and express thoughts, transfer ideas and create instant responses (Nomass, 2013).

Forms of technology and their effects on English Language

The internet communication has come with a great efficiency. The use of e-mail and instant messaging has contributing to development of acronyms which are spread across the internet. These acronyms have become a normal part of ordinary speech of the youthful population. With the era of internet, writing with pen and paper is slowly become obsolete. Writing has taken a technological face with professional reports being made using personal computers that are equipped with online dictionaries and spellcheckers. In one way, this has negatively affected the learning model of the young people who are no longer interested in learning the correct spelling as their devices have programs that have auto-correct for the wrongly spelt words. The internet has encouraged the invention of new words. New words had to be developed, coined or adapted to represent the scenarios that were introduced with the new technology. Some of these include traffic, cyberspace, virus, stream, and spam, tagging, and posting on the wall (Chris, 2010).

Technology provides a new form of learning that is applicable in different degrees at different learning situation. These methods have an influenced the manner in which English is taught there affecting the spoken English, reading, listening or interpretation.  The use of multimedia technology is creates a positive effect to the teaching of language in the following ways: technology is necessary to boast the interest of the students through the use of audio, visual animation effects which provides a sense of reality, and functions through its features in abundant-information and crossing spatial limits.  Technology is essential in promoting the capacity of the students to communicate through the use of power point presentation that seeks to control the thought pattern of the students and offer motivation to the students. The use of technology helps create an enabling context for teaching language. Through the use of technology, teaching is made lively and interesting where the class organization is optimized (Shyamlee & Phil, 2012).

Another form of technology that influences the way in which the English language is developed and taught is the differentiated instruction (DI). Differentiated instruction represents a pedagogical strategy that gives a room to the learners to work collaboratively on tasks that they consider meaningful and accomplish them at their own level and pace. Through differentiated learning, collaboration and communication between the students reaches beneficial heights thereby aiding the learning process. This technology helps create student-centered learning environment that consider the active input by students and connecting them with their teachers. The computer technologies applied here provides a channel for all students to be accorded equal treatment and become engaged in the learning activities (Andrade, 2014).

The technology has opened up room for more writers to have their works reach out to the world. The internet has been the main sensation for this matter. Various sites on the web, online journals, blogs, personal websites, and pages on the internet make it a reality for writers to have their work published and receive viewership. Technology also makes it easy for writers to review their fellow writers’ works through platforms for peer-review.

Negative effects

Technology has come with adverse effects on the wring skills of the learners and the practitioners. The students addicted to the use of technology in their writing have been found to lack essential writing skills that are prerequisite for college and career growth in the future. With this they have been found to develop laziness as technology does almost everything for them. This has led to a decline in the students writing making it necessary to implement the common core learning standards. With the increasing technological development, it will be hard for the teacher to distinguish the written skills that the students possess form those that they show to have but are due to the use of technology in their work. The technological tool available in the market offers the students a means of shortcut or a way out of completely understanding the English language and the grammatical rule that are useful in writing (Bronowicki, 2014).

References

Andrade, L. (2014). Role of Technology in Supporting English Language Learners in Today’s Classrooms. Ontario Institute of Studies in Education .

Bronowicki, K. (2014). Technology’s Adverse Effects on Students’ Wriitng: An Emphasis on Formal Writiong is Needed in an Academic Curriculum. Education and Human Development Master’s Theses, 392.

Chris, L. (2010). The Impact of the Internet on the English Language. Retrieved from http://fluentfocus.com/the-internet-and-the-english-language/

Nomass, B. B. (2013). The Impact of Using Technology in Teaching English as a Second Lnaguage. English Language and Literature Studies.

Parry, P. (2010). The Impact of Technology on the English Language. Retrieved from http://www.englishlanguageexpert.com/english-language-articles/the-impact-of-technology-on-the-english-language/

Shymalee, S., & Phil, M. (2012). Use of Technology in English Language Teaching and Learning. International Conference on Language, Media, and Culture. Singapore: IACSIT Press.

Warschauer, M. (2007). Technology and writing. In C. Davison & J.Cummins (Eds.), The International Handbook of English Language Teaching (pp. 907-912). Norwell, MA: Springer

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