Smartphone vs the classroom 智能手機 vs 傳統課堂

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Vocabulary: learning 詞彙:學習

We know it’s good to learn another language. It opens doors, makes you more employable, helps you make new friends, and it’s fun too. But to improve our linguistic skills, many of us have to endure hours of school lessons or evening classes, with our heads buried in textbooks. It’s no wonder then that technology appears to be providing a better and more accessible way of learning.

There is certainly a huge demand for language learning, and having a smartphone means you can have a virtual teacher with you wherever you go. Many app developers are keen to cash in on the demand, and there are numerous learning apps available – including our own, free, BBC Learning English app! One of many popular apps, Duolingo, offers 91 courses in 30 languages and has more than 300 million users.

Some educational apps offer languages not popular enough to be taught at evening classes, or at most universities. And others offer 『invented’ language courses in Esperanto, Elvish and Star Trek’s Klingon – lessons you might not find in a traditional classroom. Whatever you want to learn, apps allow you to go at your own pace and fit learning around other commitments. But they’re not perfect – you might not get your head round the grammar and will lack the peer support you could get in a classroom environment.

So, does technology spell the end of traditional classrooms and teachers? Guy Baron, head of modern languages at Aberystwyth University, thinks not. He told the BBC that apps should be used alongside classroom methods, not to the exclusion of traditional teaching. And he adds: “The apps are very conversational… they’re not designed for degrees, but they could be additional resources.”

Certainly technology is going to help in and outside the classroom. But attending a real lesson, facing a real teacher, probably forces you to be more committed.

Motivation can be a problem when using an app. But if you have a genuine and practical reason to learn another language, you will no doubt stick with it.

詞彙表

open doors 打開(各種機會的)大門
linguistic 語言的
evening class 夜校
textbook 課本,教科書
accessible 容易獲取的,可得到的
virtual teacher 虛擬教師
cash in 從……中撈到錢財
course 課程
Esperanto 世界語
classroom 教室,課堂
get your head round (something) 理解、弄懂(複雜的事情)
peer support 同學之間互相支持
spell the end 預示某事結束
teaching 教學
degree 學位
resource 資源
committed (態度)堅定的,投入的
motivation 積極性,動力
stick with it 堅持下去

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. According to the article, where can you take a 『virtual teacher’?

2. Name a language you might not be able to learn in a traditional classroom.

3. What might motivate you to keep on using a language-learning app?

4. True or false? According to Guy Baron from Aberystwyth University, apps should be excluded from traditional classroom lessons.

5. When should you use a learning-language app?

2. 選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. You’re a great cook, so why not do some baking and _______ on the craze for eating fancy cupcakes?

cash-up                      cash-out                   cash-in                    cash-it

2. I’m _______ to getting fit this year, so I’ve taken up cycling.

motivation                  committed                accessible                conversational

3. The school has limited _______, so could you share your text books with a friend?

courses                      resources                 classrooms               peer support

4. The rise in mp3 players and music streaming _______ for CDs.

spelling the end         spelled ending          spelled the end         spell the end

5. Her great stage show has _______ for her in the movie industry.

motivation                  stick with it                accessible                 opened doors

答案

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。  

1. According to the article, where can you take a 『virtual teacher’?
If you have a smartphone, you can have a virtual teacher with you wherever you go.

2. Name a language you might not be able to learn in a traditional classroom.
Esperanto, Elvish and Star Trek’s Klingon, are lessons you might not find in a traditional classroom.

3. What might motivate you to keep on using a language-learning app?
If you have a genuine and practical reason to learn another language, you will probably be more motivated to keep using an app.

4. True or false? According to Guy Baron from Aberystwyth University, apps should be excluded from traditional classroom lessons.
False. Apps should be used alongside traditional classroom methods, not to the exclusion of traditional teaching.

5. When should you use a learning-language app?
Apps allow you to fit learning around other commitments – so therefore at any time that suits you.

2. 選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. You’re a great cook, so why not do some baking and cash-in on the craze for eating fancy cupcakes?

2. I’m committed to getting fit this year, so I’ve taken up cycling.

3. The school has limited resources, so could you share your text books with a friend?

4. The rise in mp3 players and music streaming spelled the end for CDs.

5. Her great stage show has opened doors for her in the movie industry.