Technology is transforming education. Teachers have access to more information, more ways to interact and collaborate, and more approaches to instruction than ever before. Technology can enable teachers to accommodate a variety of orientations to learning, track student progress, remediate struggling students, and challenge advanced learners. Traditional barriers no longer restrain teachers from meeting the needs of every child. Children are also reaping the benefits of the digital explosion. Combine the boom in instructional technology and the constructivist/socio-constructivist reform, and you have a potent mixture. Through this alchemy we can see an increasing number of ESL teachers who use technology in constructivist ways.
The emerging technologies of computers and multimedia provide opportunities for even more learning experiences for ESL students. Word processing, e-mail, computer software, the Internet, and the World Wide Web are all sources of more and different learning activities. The interactive nature of multimedia provides new ways to enhance the ESL learning experience.
Teachers use multimedia with ESL students for a variety of reasons. The text, graphics, video, and audio encourage immersion in language. The non-judgemental aspect of technology is comforting for these students. The individualisation, instant feedback, and assessment components of many software packages are all positive factors. Students are motivated when using technology, especially the new emerging technologies. They feel empowered and often content is more accessible to them.
Technology is a valuable part of all students" learning and education. It can be an integral factor in the ESL student's learning. Not only can technology, and particularly the emerging technologies, assist in the acquisition of language skills, but also technology can aid in the all important task of aiding students in the mastering of curriculum content in English.