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Comunicar 50 (01-2017):
Technologies and second languages

   Thematic Editors:
Dr. Kris Buyse, KU Leuven (Belgium)
Dr. M.Carmen Fonseca-Mora, University of Huelva (Spain)

Deadline: May 30, 2016

In this era of technological revolution, we welcome the fact that technologies and their proper use and consumption, as well as the ability to communicate in one or more languages, contribute to connecting users in this globalized world. Our communicative spaces have expanded exponentially and therefore require appropriate training. Digital media can promote independent learning of modern languages both inside and outside the classroom, but they always require the guidance of an expert. Communicative competence in several languages -especially English, Spanish and Chinese- and digital competence are essential skills that open access and mobility within the job market in the 21st century. The use of educational technology in learning a foreign language has evolved considerably. Initially, computer-aided programs for learning languages involved the possibility of individual and independent work to reinforce gaps and find solutions on the go, but now the focus has switched to a collaborative learning guided by experts. On the other hand, knowing a second language -especially English as the international language of academia- can help anyone to expand their information skills by searching for content on internet and databases. Currently, the use of ICT increases interaction and collaboration with other native or non-native speakers beyond the classroom. Users have become not only prosumers, receivers and consumers, but also creators of digital content and oral and written messages. Digital resources available for teachers and students are, among others, Blogs, wikis, emails, Facebook, twitter, Skype, hangouts, podcasts, video games, video clips, virtual platforms. In addition, the ubiquity of mobile devices (Tablets, iPads, phones, laptops, etc.) allows and facilitates communication anywhere and anytime. However, we still have much to learn about its true impact on second language teaching and acquisition, and about how this possibility of global communication impacts on the transformation of ethical, responsible and critical citizens into true global citizens.

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