Learning a second language is now high on the Ministry of Education’s priority list, as evidenced by the revised NZ education curriculum. The ministry is also examining how effective technology could be when it comes to learning another language.
A research project will look at how languages are being taught in schools, with the aim of pooling the most effective approaches into a body of “best practices” that other schools can then draw on.
“We’ve intentionally left it as ‘technology’ in a broad sense, so as not to constrain the researchers,” says ministry spokesperson Margaret Hardiman. The techniques examined could range from “merely listening to sound-files” to something more original. “There are quite possibly some digital-learning objects out there and there is certainly web-based course material,” she says. The project is expected to cost around $85,000.