Information and communication technologies : applications and benefits for second language acquisition
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This paper aims to show how the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can help students achieve a higher degree of proficiency in a second language (SL), using these resources autonomously. Furthermore, I analyze in a systematic manner what the benefits obtained by undergraduate and graduate students, who made regular use of ICT were, as well as the issues related to learning a SL within the university context and out of it, with the help of these software/applications. The aim of this paper is to highlight the importance of the use of ICTs in the academic field because it analyses how students of a SL use free resources available online to increase the proficiency of their language skills, and how they can use them with other resources also covered here, for the purpose of improving the four skills present in the language acquisition process: speaking, listening, reading and writing. The methodology of this study was developed through a survey and data analysis; the data was used to determine which ICTs students utilize, as well as the language improvements noticed by them. This paper also analyses which ICTs students opt to use when studying on their own, that is, when they are on their way to becoming autonomous. Towards the end of this paper, it was verified that the use of these applications resulted in higher proficiency, especially in speaking and listening skills, and made the participants feel more confident using the SL; not only in its formal context but also recognizing its variants with native speakers.
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