THE EFFECTIVENESS OF TECHNOLOGY IN TEACHING STUDY SKILLS: MEMORIZATION

The sense of insecurity thus gives rise to diffidence and makes them take recourse to memorization without proper comprehension. Such cramming makes the knowledge received short lived and haphazard. What is required is not learning long texts by rote, but developing an ability to take down notes in the classroom. For, certainly the lectures given in classes contain more details than what is given as handouts. Though reading, summarizing, writing paragraphs, information transfer skills are included in the syllabus in the first two semesters at the first year in colleges, these skills remain confined to the English classes alone and are not extended to the learning of core subjects.

In this cyber age where most of the academic activities are computer-directed, the study skills, particularly those related to receptive skills, can be effectively developed using Computer Assisted Language Learning method. Out of the four skills of language learning, the receptive skills, mainly, listening and reading can be commonly addressed by CALL programmes. Hence, Study skills that fall in the category of receptive skills can also be developed using the CALL method.

While using CALL materials in a language classroom, the computer envisages an important role for the teacher. Though, the teachers do not control the learning process they by integrating technology in their teaching provide an excellent backup or support because, they can monitor the linguistic performance and progress without directly interfering during the learning process. Teachers can also modify and adopt any CALL learning materials to suite the learners needs and levels of competence. While using the CALL materials the learners have the autonomy to identify and adopt the kind of strategy that would best suit their learning style, choosing such a strategy would also facilitate the learning process. Studies show that CALL materials motivate the students for a better learning and provide them a stress free environment.

The term “Study Skills” is a general term, which encompasses a wide variety of traits. It is associated with personal growth and development ranging from attitudes to behaviours. Study Skills are skills acquired for the purpose of self-development or for a good career. On the academic front, new learning styles, networking with other students, acquiring communication skills, ability to listen to lectures with concentration, reading a book and taking notes, participating in classroom activities are some of the study skills. The focus of teaching these skills centers on the individual, academic or personal growth. James Hartley says “The basis for success in academics is hard work, disciplined studying and acquiring the ability to critically assess. As time is very precious, time management can also be considered as a Study Skill.” (112)

Study Skills also include reading academic texts efficiently and effectively; taking notes from lectures and books; doing basic research; using library or computer-based resources; writing academic papers; taking part in discussions; presenting papers; managing study time and preparing for examinations. Encouraging students to be creative and appreciating innovation in students motivate students to excel at what they are doing. Teaching them to plan projects inculcates a sense of responsibility and helping them to manage these projects infuses a sense of accountability. By giving focus to these different types of study skills the communication skills of learners can also be developed by using CALL.

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