Modern Studies of Modern Languages

Knowles, Frank and Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes (1990). Modern Studies of Modern Languages. In: Miall, David S. ed. Humanities and the Computer: New Directions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, pp. 171–182.


The modern languages or foreign languages (FL) teaching scene was probably the first discipline in the arts and humanities to be affected in a mass way by technology for teaching purposes - in the shape of the language laboratory. These labs also came to be seen as enslaving rather than liberating agents, primarily because of their almost universal use as rigid skills-trainers. The authors review subsequent advancements in computing for language teaching and learning, and reflect on emerging requirements. Above all, to study a language is to enter a process of learning about communication, and the advent of computers encourages reflection on the skills involved in using languages as well as highlighting challenges in translation.

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