Changing practice and enabling development: The impact of technology on teaching and language teacher education in UAE federal institutions
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Donaghue, H. (2015) 'Changing practice and enabling development: The impact of technology on teaching and language teacher education in UAE federal institutions', in T.S.C. Farrell (ed.) International Perspectives on English Language Teacher Education: Innovations from the Field. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 142-159.
The global trend of increased technology use for information access, communication and entertainment is extending into educational settings, prompting educators to consider the role of technology and review more traditional teaching and learning methodologies. Whether or not we agree with the growing opinion that “Traditional teaching and learning methods are becoming less effective at engaging students and motivating them to achieve” (Gitsaki et al., 2013: 1), the use of technology in English language teaching and learning is increasing. Technology is moving from being a supplementary resource (e.g. language labs, Computer Assisted Language Learning) to a means of language instruction and practice, made increasingly easier by personal and mobile devices. However, it is well recognized that the successful integration of new technologies in education is dependent on teachers (Mumtaz, 2000; Albrini, 2004; Judson, 2006; Keengwe et al., 2008; Rossing et al., 2012). Their personal beliefs, assumptions and attitudes to technology will influence the acceptance, use, effectiveness and success of new initiatives; therefore, teachers who are required to implement change need sufficient time, support and training, without which they are unlikely to see the value and affordances of new technology. It is important, then, that teachers in this environment are effectively prepared for potential changes in classroom practice (Ess, 2009) and supported in ongoing learning (Abadiano & Turner, 2004; Borko, 2004).