Pedagogical Models for Foreign Language Acquisition.

Our innovative solution to the pedagogical problems and issues we addressed, has been to introduce multimedia technology to both the learning and the teaching process. For that purpose we developed two separate pedagogical models, with separate strategies for teachers and learners, who, while sharing the same video material, are offered different solutions. In adopting the multimedia platform we were guided by the belief that, in addition to the inclusion of realistic settings for language practice, the visual and aural inputs augment effective learning and help in the retention of new information in memory. Rudolph Arnheim, a noted philosopher whose main focus is in the area of visual perception, states in his study of the effect of visual perception on cognition, that "visual perception is not a passive recording of stimulus material but an active concern of the mind" (Visual Thinking, p. 37). We felt the need to add a dimension to that visual input and change the video viewing experience from "an active concern of the mind" to one which brings about learning with coherence and mastery of what is viewed. "Can the media teach?" asks Dr. Johnson (a noted educational psychologist). He answers, "No, but mediated programming can." (J. Johnson, Electronic Learning, p. XV, 1987). We also put an emphasis on performance in order to achieve competence, and agreed with the observation by S.J. Savignon, (an expert in foreign language pedagogy) that "Competence is what one knows. Performance is what one does. Only performance is observable, however, and it is only through performance that competence can be developed, maintained, and evaluated."(1972, p.9) While our innovative solutions seek to address an existing learning environment, we believe that ther introduction to such an environment will eventually change the entire approach to foreign language learning and will help redefine a powerful paradigm for the process of language acquistion.

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