From what I experienced during the pandemic and when having online classes, using ICT in my class is a necessity because it offers a lot of opportunities that make learning more attractive, leaving children a little sad that the class has already ended, but eager to discover and learn more during the next session. I found it impossible not to adapt to my students’ desire in using ICT, considering that they are in a position to use internet, phones, computers on a daily basis.
In other words, I have introduced ICT for every class that I teach, making my students more confident, more attracted of playing English games and, therefore, learn new vocabulary. To make this happen, I needed a smartboard, a laptop and a printer; but only one of my two schools where I teach, had those, so, I made an experiment with two groups of 5th graders, one in the school where I had a smartboard, and the other one in the school where I only had a blackboard and chalk. I will name the two groups A and B, they both are in the sixth year of study, level A2.The experiment was held for units 5 and 6 “I usually get up early” and “What do you do on Saturdays?” concerning Present Tense Simple, adverbs of frequency and prepositions of time, but also describing daily routine and free time activities.
For group A, I used the smartboard and the laptop to show them pictures of the daily activities, play songs and allow them to listen to conversations and produce answers for their colleagues as in the examples. I used liveworksheets.com, quizziz.com, YouTube and other materials that I found suitable for the class. At the end of every lesson, I let them play Kahoot! on their phones, congratulating and rewarding the students from the first, second and third positions. By the end of the two units, my students were able to describe and talk about their daily programme, make questions using Present Simple and also respond to them. Their vocabulary was enriched and they were eager to respond to every single task of mine, without any fear.
For group B, I used traditional, but also modern techniques; I included some games besides the exercises from the textbook, I gave them the unknown words from the lesson that we previously read, I invited them to present their daily routine in front of the class. Group B seemed a little bored at first, but they participated and, at the end of the experiment I gave them a little test to see the outcome.
Group B has 15 students:
6 of them scored below 5,
4 were between 5 and 6,99
3 were between 7 and 8, 99
2 were between 9 and 10.
The percentage for the things that they learned was 60%.
Group A has 14 students:
2 of them scored below 5
2were between 5 and 6,99
5 were between 7 and 8, 99
5 were between 9 and 10.
Their percentage was 85,71%.
To my surprise, the children who used to score 5 or 6 they were now at a higher level, scoring 8 or 9.
The whole experiment was a real success for children, proving that using ICT during the English classes is the best way to improve their skills and make them comfortable when talking. It is compulsory for school to access funds and buy as many smartboards as they can, because we live in a digital era and we teach digitalized children. We have to teach the students we HAVE and not the student we WOULD LIKE TO HAVE. We have to face the truth, adapt and start working and looking for new and improved methods and diverse techniques.