Globalization and
Language Education
- How Internet Changes the Way
We Teach and Learn Languages?
Dr. Tim Xie
Virtual office:
California State University
Long Beach
June 2008
Globalization – a process by which
the people of the world are unified
into a single society and functioning
together (Chomsky, 2006).
This process is a combination of
economic, technological,
sociocultural and political forces
(Sheila L. Croucher, 2004)
Need of common language(s) –
lingua franca and language
English is not only a system
communication but the preeminent
language of science, technology and
English has become the lingua franca
of the 21st century.
By 2010 there could be around 2
billion people learning English
China – an example
The globalization caused rapid
development of TESL in China. ESL
students currently reach 300 million.
On the other hand, the rapid economic
development in China attracted about 400
thousand overseas students learning
Chinese on the mainland (Deng, 2006)
Chinese may become a lingua franca in
Language localization
The process of translating a product into
different languages or adapting a
language for a specific country or region.
Other speakers in 2050 will be: 1.4 billion
native speakers of Chinese
• 556 million of Hindi and Urdu
• 486 million Spanish
• 482 million Arabic
(Yang, 2006)
McDonald in local languages
McDonald in local languages
The need of
language learning
is greater than ever!
How Internet Impacts Language
World Internet Users (as of December 2007): 1,319,872,109
Growth between 2000-2007 average 265.6%
the fasted growth is in the middle east 920.2%
Singhal (1997) discussed the
potential benefits of the Internet
and how it can be used in the second
or foreign language classroom. She
indicates that Internet is not only a
new tool of communication, but also
a teaching and learning tool.
What is used for language
teaching and learning?
LeLoup and Ponterio (2001) listed a
number of Internet applications that
can be used to enrich the foreign language
These applications include: email, mailing
list, e-journals, World Wide Web,
streaming audio and video, search
engines, remote access to libraries and
database, chat, audio and video
conferencing and messaging, web course
management, etc.
Categorization of applications:
Information resources - Web directories,
searchable database (general - Eric,
Google, Informaworld. Language
education specific - Merlot), online
textbooks and learning materials
(including audio and video – Podcasting,
Communication – asynchronous email,
discussion forum and blog (including voice
email like Wimba and YackPack);
synchronous instant messengers (MSN,
Yahoo) Internet telephony programs
(Skype, Voipstunt)
Collaborative learning – Document
sharing, editing and publishing
Learning tools - online dictionary, glossing
engine, character animation, text-tospeech, concordancer, etc
Virtual classroom and office for online
learning and long distance education
(Elluminate, WizIq, webex, etc)
What changes are taking place?
 The way of class preparation and
presentation changed (including
testing) – from pen and paper
(textbook, handouts, tests) to
keyboard and screen (media) PPT,
ePlan, eText, AP Chinese
 The way of teaching and learning
changed from one way delivery to
two way interaction/communication
 Not only between teachers and
students (Blogs, discussions, email),
but also between the students and
native speakers of the target
languages or learners elsewhere
(Laowai Blog) - a blog by a
 The place of teaching and learning
changed – from fixed classrooms and
time to anywhere and anytime.
 Classrooms, labs, online exercises
and tests, virtual classroom teaching,
virtual office hours and tutoring.
What are the advantages?
Aydin (2001) summarized the research
results on advantages of using the
Internet in language teaching and
Helping learners to gain more input (Kitao,
Increase of synchronous and
asynchronous communication (Kern,
1995; Warschauer and Healey, 1998).
Giving the opportunity to construct
knowledge together by expressing
themselves in print and then assessing,
evaluating, comparing, and reflecting on
their own views and those of others
(Warschauer, 1997).
Communication with native speakers
allows learners to practice specific skills
such as negotiating, persuading, clarifying
meaning, requesting information, and
engaging in true-life, authentic discussion
(Aydin, 2001).
What are the problems?
Accessibility and inequity – the
internet is not always accessible by
all learners and teachers.. 75.6% in
Sweden vs 4.5% in Kenya (The Word
Bank, 2004)
Internet unfamiliarity – some
teachers and students are not
familiar with the Internet.
Not all topics are suitable for school
children. (Aydin, 2001)
Information explosion – The
increasing amount of information
generally makes learners confused
while they try to reach specific
information (Chafe, 1999).
What will be in the future?
 Technological development –
 Normalization – Bax (2003) proposed
three stages of CALL: restricted, open and
integrated CALL. At the final stage
everything in “normalized”.
 The technology is invisible, hardly even
recognized as a technology, taken for
granted in everyday life.
 CALL will be normalized when
computers are treated as always
secondary to learning itself, when
the needs of learners will be carefully
analysed first of all, and then the
computer used to serve those
needs.” (Bax, 2003)
Think globally and act locally !
Aydin, Selami. (2001). The Use of the Internet in ESL Learning:
Problems, Advantages and Disadvantages. Humanising Language
Teaching. Year 9; Issue 1. Retrieved February 3, 2008 from
Bax, S. (2003). CALL — past, present and future. System, Vol. 31.
Chafe, Allison. (1999). Effective use of the Internet in Second
Language Education: Benefits, Challenges and Guidelines for
Teachers. Retrieved February 3, 2008 from
Chomsky, Noam. (2006). Chats with Washington Post readers,
The Washington Post, March 24. Retrieved March 24, 2008 from
Croucher, Sheila L (2004). Globalization and Belonging: The
Politics of Identity a Changing World. Rowman & Littlefield.p.10
Deng, Shizhong. (2006). TCSL and TESL in China. US-China
Education Review, Volume 3, No.8. ISSN1548-6613, USA.
Retrieved March 12, 2008 from
Kern, R. (1995). Restructuring classroom interaction with networked
computers: Effects on quantity and quality of language production.
Modern Language Journal, 79(4), 457-476.
Kitao, S. K. (1998). Interaction and on-line synchronous communication
in English language learning, CALL-EJ. Retrieved February 3, 2008 from
LeLoup, Jean W. and Ponterio, Robert. (2001). Enhancing Authentic
Language Learning Experiences through Internet Technology. ERIC Digest
2/6 ED442277. Retrieved February 3, 2008 from
Singhal, Meena. (1997). The Internet and Foreign Language Education:
Benefits and Challenges. The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. 3, No. 6.
Retrieved February 3, 2008 from
Warschauer, M. (1997). Computer-Mediated Collaborative Learning:
Theory and Practice. Modern Language Journal, 81(3), 470-481.
Warschauer, M., & Healey, D. (1998). Computers and language learning:
An overview. Language Teaching, 31, 57-71.
Yang, Sung Chul . (2006). English Language and Globalization. Talk at
new faculty members’ orientation workshop, sponsored by the Korea
University’s Center for Teaching & Learning , Sheraton Grand Walker Hill
Hotel on February 24, 2006. Retrieved March 5, 2008 from
Thank you!

Globalization and Language Education: How Internet …