The Use of Media as a Teaching Support

The diversity of the media, the enormous social importance they have acquired, the increased importance given to them in training in all fields, the grip that is increasingly apparent on the young generation, all these aspects recommend them as a class support in the transmission of knowledge, without forgetting that there must be some methodological caution with regard to the quality of the documents used.

Almost fifty years ago, Michel Tardy had surprised this relationship. “The school and the media, each on its own, exert their power over the society: logically, therefore, each of these two institutions tends to protect themselves, and this, as always, by excluding the other institutions, precisely because they are not experienced as potential partners, but as opponents to be discarded.” (Michel Tardy, Une société sans école, Paris, Seuil 1972, p. 117)

In recent times, Tardy’s assertion is likely to date. School must understand that the traditional way of teaching is lost forever. Moreover, this institution must adapt to the transformations of society for which it prepares citizens. We cannot train people like in the seventies and ask them to live in nowadays society.

The media are exemplary carriers of meanings. They are able to overthrow a whole system of values, becoming master tamers on a global scale.

This is why it is important to prepare our learners to correctly decode media messages. The potential effectiveness of the media, the inevitability of their entry into the classroom, given their social omnipresence, are major aspects that must be taken into account in any analysis in the field of pedagogy. Teaching will undergo a visible reshuffle and two huge and opposite risks are envisaged and must be apprehended: on the one hand, that of making a purely academic use of the possibilities generated by the media, on the other hand, that of allowing the media a disordered irruption into teaching. It is not true that the role of the school has changed/ will completely change, “no one is allowed to act as if the media were slipping on us like water on the feathers of a duck” (Richard Hoggart, The Uses of Literacy: Aspects of Working Class Life, Chatto and Windus, 1957, p. 85).

In recent decades, a pact has been signed between the two institutions – the school and the media: the school can and must make use of the media, but its goal should remain the development of the student, the acquisition of knowledge and skills. As a defining element of daily life, the media are at the base of a new way of communicating and thereby affecting languages and their practice. Nevertheless, we must bear in mind that the socio-cultural perspective has the last word, the messages delivered by the media are digested by the public and it imposes the evolution of the former. Without doubt, an inexhaustible reservoir of discourse, the media offer unparalleled help to language teaching that teachers, poorly or poorly trained, often refuse.

The difficulty of using media documents lies on the one hand in the impossibility of access and, on the other, in the methodological effort that the teacher has to make. The media are not worth by themselves, they find their pedagogical dimension only through a sustained work of didactisation. This reality frightens both trainers and learners who turn their backs on limitless opportunities for teaching and learning.

Obviously, these resources do not solve all our didactic problems, nor are they a mandatory methodological passage, but for us they seem the most effective.

• Barthakur, Raju “Orthographic Customizations in Online Communication by L2 User-Students in Arunachal Pradesh, India in Interdisciplinary Discourses̒ in Language and Communication, 2011.
• Common Assessment Framework for Children and Young People Hoggart, Richard, The Uses of Literacy: Aspects of Working Class Life, Chatto and Windus, 1957.
• Hoggart, Richard, The Uses of Literacy: Aspects of Working Class Life, Chatto and Windus, 1957.
• Tardy, Michel, Une société sans école, Paris, Seuil 1972.


prof. Elena-Monica Munteanu

Profil iTeach:

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